Ex-wife of accused pimp says he exploited her after pimping 14-year-old

DENVER - The ex-wife of a man accused of exploiting and pimping a 14-year-old girl says he tried to do the same thing to the ex-wife.

7NEWS reporter Molly Hendrickson is asking if he should have been arrested long before he ever met the teenager.

Investigators say Robert Gonzales first forced a 14-year-old girl to have sex with him, then started pimping her out, posting naked photos of her online.

The girl is alleged to have been forced to have sex with at least 30 men over two years.

Gonzales' ex-wife stated he even posted sex ads of her on Craigslist, while they were still married.

"It was like my whole life was over. My whole character was demolished to where I couldn't show my face to my family."

She asked us not to identify her and said he posted dozens of dirty ads, naked photos of her, private videos and her phone number while they were in the middle of a messy divorce.

"I woke up to over a hundred missed calls, 99 text messages of all of these different people asking if I was available," she told 7NEWS reporter Molly Hendrickson.

She complained to both the FBI and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, sending investigators the humiliating photos and ads -- her most private moments once again put on display.

Records show at the time Gonzales had a protective order against his wife, even though the two were living together, trying to repair their marriage.

Investigators told her that if they pursued charges against Gonzales they would also have to pursue charges against her for violating that order.

"The investigator wanted to make it clear to the victim of the Craigslist case that we have her listed as a suspect and we would likely have to pursue both cases," said Jefferson County spokeswoman Jacki Kelly. "It's not a tactic, it's being honest."

Criminal defense attorney Dan Recht reviewed the documents at the request of 7NEWS.  He said investigators had no choice but to charge them both.

"From my review of the police reports, that was an accurate decision, that was the right decision to make," said Recht.  "If we're gonna charge Gonzales with this misdemeanor of computer charge with you being the victim, his attorney is going to raise the question of us giving you preferential treatment."

But University of Denver Law Professor Kris Miccio disagrees.

"That is a very dangerous message," he said.

She also reviewed the documents at the request of 7NEWS and said Jefferson County should not have used the protective order -- intended to be a shield -- against the wife as a sword.

"The statement 'I could arrest you,' seems to me as a device that the police were using as a way not to go forward on the original charge she attempted to file against Mr. Gonzales with Craigslist, with posting those pictures on Craigslist and sending them out which is a computer crime," said Miccio.

And Miccio added that may have had dangerous consequences.

"The message that was sent because he's using the computer, . . . is, 'I can do whatever I want.'"

"Do you think this current case with the 14-year-old could have been prevented in any way, had charges been brought against Gonzales in the previous case?" asked Hendrickson.

"I have absolutely no idea," said Kelly.

But for Gonzales' ex-wife, that answer isn't good enough.  She believes the prostitution of the 14-year-old could have been prevented if investigators had listened in the first place.

"If I would've just tried a little harder to get him --for police to see what they are really facing, this never would've happened," she said.

Gonzales is being held on a $500,000 bond in the case involving the 14-year-old girl.  He's charged with 15 counts, including trafficking children, sex assault on a child and pimping of a child.

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