JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – The man accused of abusing a 2-year-old girl and leaving her with severe injuries was formally charged Friday and could face between 10 and 32 years of prison if convicted.
Joshua James Gonzales, 21, faces a formal charge of child abuse with serious bodily injury, a third-degree felony. He waived the reading of formal charges at Friday’s court appearance in Jefferson County District Court.
Gonzales remains held at the Jefferson County jail on a $100,000 bond pending his preliminary hearing, which is set for Oct. 25.
Gonzales turned himself in at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Sunday evening four days after police said he was the suspect in the brutal beating of the young girl, who is the daughter of his girlfriend.
The alleged abuse happened on Sept. 11, and the girl was found three days later outside a Denver elementary school.
Deputies say the victim was with her mother at Doull Elementary School when a concerned citizen, seeing the child was in dire need of medical attention, called 911.
Deputies initially said the girl was suffering from life-threatening injuries, but the court learned Monday that a breathing tube the girl had been required to use had been removed, and that she was breathing on her own.
Deputies say Gonzales is in a relationship with the girl's mother, but it is not clear if the mother was with the child the entire time after she was hurt.
However, investigators believe the mother was aware the child was seriously injured at the time the 911 call was made. Charges against her could be forthcoming, a sheriff’s spokesperson said. If convicted on the charge,
Gonzales would face between 10 and 32 years in prison.