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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Santa Cruz County man charged with sexually assaulting underage deli workers remanded to house arrest

SANTA CRUZ — A Watsonville man accused of sexual crimes with underage deli employees was recommended Tuesday to house arrest, pending a bail hearing.

Santa Cruz County Man Charged With Sexually Assaulting Underage Deli Workers Remanded To House Arrest
Carlos Gomez Velasco

The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office is seeking to put Carlos Gomez Velasco, released on a $200,000 bail bond Friday, back behind bars as he awaits trial “due to the serious and violent nature of the sexual offenses charged.”

The 39-year-old man appeared in court for arraignment on an amended complaint including 12 criminal counts Tuesday, but had not yet retained formal legal counsel and was allowed to delay making a plea. Defense attorney Geoffrey Rawlings appeared as an informal “friend of the court” on Gomez Velasco’s behalf.

Gomez Velasco is accused of sexually assaulting three minors between December 2020 and April 2021 at his place of work, a franchise Erik’s DeliCafe in Aptos owned by his partner. Gomez Velasco and his long-time partner, also the mother of his child, had represented themselves to the Sentinel as the eatery’s co-owners at the time of the store’s opening in 2018 and Assistant District Attorney Kristal Salcido described him Tuesday as holding “a position of authority” at the cafe.

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