DENVER – A man found guilty last month of severely abusing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison, which was almost the maximum amount of prison time he faced.
A Jefferson County jury last month found Joshua James Gonzales, 22, guilty of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, a third-degree felony.
He had faced between 10 and 32 years in prison upon sentencing, and on Thursday, a judge sentenced him to 30 years after seeing the evidence against Gonzales during the trial.
His girlfriend Melissa Mangeri, whose daughter Gonzales abused, was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for putting her child in danger in the first place.
The abuse happened in September 2017. According to investigators, the 2-year-old victim suffered numerous injuries from multiple beatings over a four-month period. The beating that led to Gonzales's arrest left her with a lacerated liver, rib fractures, a dislocated shoulder and bruises all over her body.
Mangeri called 911 to report her daughter was having an emergency, but medical personnel found the toddler unresponsive in her mother’s lap outside an elementary school.
Initially, Mangeri told police she didn't know how the injuries occurred, but when authorities told her they were "life-threatening," she told them that Gonzales had beaten and kicked the child a few days earlier.
Court testimony showed Gonzales had abused the child for more than two months before his arrest.