October 7, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
This is just a brief follow-up to last Thursday’s post on Genise Gomez (aka Genise Schu). Here’s the latest (Santa Barbara Independent, 10/5/15).
Gomez is the wife and mother who began a years-long sexual affair with one of her son’s friends. It began when the boy was 13. Her children and her husband all testified that she was physically and emotionally abusive toward them in an effort to silence them about what she was doing. That, it turns out, is what foiled her later.
Eventually, her husband divorced her and she was imprisoned for her sexual abuse of the boy. She spent a little over three years in prison, but was awarded $1 million as part of the marital estate in the divorce case. But that wasn’t enough for Gomez. She demanded alimony as well. As the linked-to article mentions, that demand began as one for $7,900 per month, but by the time the hearing on her motion rolled around, she’d inflated it to $26,000 per month.
Fortunately for all concerned (as I mentioned in my first post), California law provides an “out” in alimony cases. Among other considerations, judges may refuse to award alimony if the movant has engaged in domestic violence, which Gomez had. The result? Judge Colleen Sterne denied her motion. It looks like Gomez will have to get a job, something she hasn’t had in the past 20 years.
Convicted child molester Genise Gomez (formerly Genise Schu) was denied permanent spousal support from her ex-husband at the conclusion of a precedent-setting trial last week in Santa Barbara.
Gomez, 53, served three years in prison for engaging in a long-term sexual relationship with her son’s 13-year-old friend. She was released in April 2013 and will remain on the state’s sex offender registry until April 2016.
Gomez denied the domestic abuse to which her own children and others testified.
In a deposition, Gomez’s daughter described how Gomez would feel threated by attention she received from men, and so made her wear glasses instead of contacts, and in one instance forcibly cut her hair. She would also favor her older son at the expense of her other two children, her family members said, and provide alcohol and pornography to the young teens at their home when their father worked overseas.
Sterne didn’t buy Gomez’s protestations of innocence.
“The three Schu children and their father were subjected to unease and emotional abuse for years,” she said in her ruling. “The testimony of the three children, in particular, was highly probative and persuasive to the court that they had, in fact, been seriously emotionally harmed by these events.”
In my post on the case, I wondered if Gomez’s victim had sued her. After all, with the $1 million from her ex in her pocket, it’s not as if Gomez were judgment-proof. Sure enough, the young man has already done just that.
Gomez’s victim, now in his 20s, also gave deposition in the case. He spoke of the lasting toll the abuse has had on his life and wellbeing, and said of Gomez, “She was obviously a terrible person, master manipulator, liar. You guys know it … Child molesters are a certain way.” The victim successfully sued Gomez in a civil case that settled out of court.
All in all, it’s a pretty good outcome to one of the worst child sexual abuse cases to come along in a while. But, as I wondered in my previous piece, what if Gomez hadn’t been abusive toward her kids and her husband? What if she’d “only” sexually abused the boy? It looks to me like she’d have collected a hefty amount of alimony for years to come. As far as I can see, that domestic violence provision is the only thing that stood between a serial sexual abuser and some mighty big paydays. It’s just dumb luck that this pedophile wasn’t rewarded very handsomely.
And speaking of rewards, why was she forced to serve just three years in prison? Ralph Wegis, attorney for Gomez’s ex-husband wonders the same thing.
Wegis expressed repeated bewilderment, however, that Gomez received what he described as an exceptionally light sentence given the seriousness of her crimes. Tallying the number of times she slept with her victim over the course of seven years, Wegis said he counted more than 550 felonies. “How on Earth did the District Attorney’s Office fashion a plea deal for just 10 felonies, resulting in her serving three years and registering as a sex offender for just three years after that?” he asked. “When you look at the criminal justice system and its job to protect people, this is a horrible failure.”
Sad but true.
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