Citizen of the Week!

Photobucket You can imagine the joy 50-year-old Anaheim tamale dealer Gregorio Gomez Echeverria felt when his daughter walked up to him in March 2001 and said, "Guess what? I'm pregnant."

Well, maybe you can't.

How many of us have experienced the sensation of simultaneously becoming a grandfather and a father?

Carol Henson, an Orange County prosecutor, later asked Echeverria if he was attracted to his daughter when he began having sex with her when she was 15 years old.

"No," he replied, unconvincingly, during his 2006 trial.

Henson wanted to know why Echeverria had used his own daughter for violent sexual intercourse during at least a two-year period.

"I don't know," he replied. "I don't know how to explain it."

The deputy district attorney asked him, Did you enjoy it?

"Yes."

Echeverria, whose prior criminal record included illegal narcotics sales, had jealously punished his daughter when she talked to boys her own age and had even blocked her from taking sex-education classes at her high school. His rationale? He wanted, he said, to be the person to teach her everything she needed to know about sex.

Why the gasp?

Echeverria calmly explained to jurors that he only wanted to give his underage daughter what she wanted: him. Sure, she'd screamed and cried during intercourse that occurred at least monthly. Okay, he'd once tied an electrical cord around her neck, choked her, and, after she'd passed out, ripped off her clothes, dropped her on the garage floor and had intercourse with her body. Sure, he'd once mounted her while waiving a handgun in her face and barking threats of death if she revealed their ugly secret. Okay, his teeth had left hickeys all over her neck. And yes, he'd severely beaten her--indeed, knocked out a front tooth--as his idea of foreplay.

Henson, still in front of a jury, asked Echeverria if he liked to ejaculate inside his daughter's vagina.

"Not always," he replied.

At sentencing, the daughter, a native of Mexico who gave birth to her father's child, spoke in Spanish. "I know that day after day that he's in jail, he remembers everything that he did to me," the victim said. "And I want him to know that I am aware of all the pain that he is suffering, and I'm going to be happy because I have no sorry feelings for him. Because to me, he is dead. I never had a father."

Echeverria explained his conduct had been partially excusable because he claimed that each time after intercourse, his daughter hugged and caressed him. "I am not a rapist," he told Superior Court Judge James Stotler. His big mistake, he said, was he'd gone overboard in violently disciplining his daughter on occasion. For that, he said, "My God has forgiven me."

Stotler called Echeverria's acts of incest "inexcusable . . . worse than awful" and sentenced him to live the next 169 years in a California prison.

(Wednesdays at OCWeekly.com, discover the depths of human depravity in Orange County, California.)

Click HERE for previous "Citizen of the Week!" winners.

-- R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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