Jul. 26—A Frederick woman was ordered Tuesday to serve seven years in prison for sexually abusing a boy when he was as young as 13.
According to charging documents, Evelyn Gomez-Gutierrez, 44, sexually abused a boy three times between March 2020 and July 2021. The victim told his pediatrician he was sexually active with an adult, and the pediatrician reported it to the police, the documents said.
Last month, a jury found Gomez-Gutierrez guilty of one count of second-degree rape and two counts of third-degree sex offense.
Second-degree rape applies when someone younger than 14 has vaginal intercourse with someone who is at least four years older.
Third-degree sex offense applies when someone who is 14 or 15 years old has vaginal intercourse with someone who is at least 21. It also applies when someone younger than 14 has sexual contact with someone who is at least four years older.
Gomez-Gutierrez's attorney, Matthew Frawley, said after the sentencing that he was "very disappointed" and would file an appeal.
In court Thursday, Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Carpenter asked Frederick County Circuit Court Judge William R. Nicklas Jr. to take into consideration the culture behind female offenders and male victims, and that there can be a stigma for a male victim.
While the victim said that he initiated the sexual contact in some instances, Carpenter said, it didn't matter.
"The defendant is the adult here," Carpenter said.
She said situation has affected the victim, and will continue to do so throughout his life since it happened when he was so young.
Frawley called the state's recommendation "inhumane" and argued for less time served for Gomez-Gutierrez and no probation.
Frawley said Gomez-Gutierrez likely would be sent back to her home country of El Salvador after serving time in prison, but she hasn't been there in over 20 years.
"Impose a short sentence, so she can go through the immigration processes, so she can try to make a life for herself," he said.
Nicklas said he thought about the case quite a bit and had to take his own biases into account.
"If you were a man and the victim was a woman, I'd give you the top of the guidelines," he said. "And part of that is because women are at greater risk."
But the fact remained, he said, was that the victim was in seventh grade for at least part of the period of the abuse and was as young as 13. Nicklas cringed when he thought about how young a child in seventh grade is.
After the sentencing, Carpenter deferred to Frederick County State's Attorney Charlie Smith for comment.
Smith wrote in an email that Gomez-Gutierrez's actions had an impact on the victim.
"No child should have to face this kind of trauma, and all offenders should face equal punishment regardless of race or gender," he wrote.
Nicklas sentenced Gomez-Gutierrez to 20 years, with 13 years suspended, for the second-degree charge. For each count of third-degree sex offense, Nicklas sentenced Gomez-Gutierrez to 10 years, but suspended all of that time.
One count of third-degree sex offense will be served concurrently, or at the same time, with the second-degree rape charge. The other count of third-degree sex offense will be served consecutively, or back-to-back, with the other charges.
Upon her release, Gomez-Gutierrez will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.
Follow Clara Niel on Twitter: @clarasniel