Teen accused in rape pleads guilty to assault

Daijohn A. Gonzalez faces up to 30 days in detention for fourth-degree assault.

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WALLA WALLA -- A second teenager accused of raping a girl in the spring of 2010 while in a vehicle off Mill Creek Road has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

Daijohn A. Gonzalez, 19, of 316 S. 10th Ave., entered the guilty plea this morning in the Juvenile Department of Walla Walla County Superior Court to the charge of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor.

Gonzalez had been accused of second-degree rape, but the Prosecuting Attorney's Office has said evidentiary problems developed in the case, making it difficult to pursue the felony sex charge.

Gonzalez -- whose case is being handled in juvenile court because he was 17 on Aug. 25, 2010, when he was arrested -- will be sentenced later. He faces a standard-range penalty of up to 30 days in detention, but has served more than that amount of time. He was released on bail Oct. 1, 2010.

Co-defendant Cager J. York, 19, of 2363 S. Wilbur Ave., pleaded guilty in adult court last month to fourth-degree assault and received a year's suspended jail sentence, with credit for 35 days served.

Officials said that late June 4 or early June 5 of 2010, the girl -- who was then 15 and acquainted with York and Gonzalez -- was walking to a friend's house near Pioneer Park when she received text messages and a phone call from York.

He and Gonzalez picked the girl up in a van and York eventually drove them to what apparently is Harbert Road off Mill Creek where the two males engaged in sexual intercourse with her, according to a Sheriff's Office report filed in court.

They then traveled back to Walla Walla and the girl got out of the van near Isaacs and Wilbur avenues, officials said.

Gonzalez also faced an indecent liberties charge for allegedly fondling a different 15-year-old girl a few days later near the corner of Colville and Cherry streets in Walla Walla. But that charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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