The former female security guard at San Luis High School who had sexual contact with a 15-year-old male student pleaded guilty to an amended felony charge as part of a plea agreement Wednesday in Yuma County Superior Court.
When asked how she pleaded to the charge of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, Lizbeth Gomez-Coronel said “guilty.”
Gomez-Coronel, who was out of custody and appeared in person at the hearing, had been charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of sexual conduct with a minor. In return for her guilty plea, those charges against her were dismissed. She is represented by Cynthia Brubaker of the Yuma County Public Defender’s Office.
During the hearing, Superior Court Judge David Haws informed Gomez-Coronel that the attempted sexual exploitation of a minor charge carried a sentence of 2 to 8 years and nine months in prison, with the presumptive sentence being 3-1/2 years.
Haws explained that while probation was available under the conditions of the plea agreement, it did not contain any stipulations, so sentencing was left up to the discretion of the court.
If she were to receive probation, Haws continued, it could be for no less than five years, but may also be for the rest of her life. She could also be sentenced to up to a year in the county jail as a condition of that probation.
Gomez-Coronel must also register as a sex offender.
Typically defendants are taken into custody following change of plea hearings, but Brubaker asked the court to allow her client, who is pregnant, to remain free.
She also asked that sentencing be postponed for 60 days so her client would be able to deliver her child and have some time to recuperate afterward.
Haws granted Brubaker’s request and scheduled sentencing for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 18.
According to San Luis police, Gomez-Coronel was arrested at her residence in August 2019.
While police did not go into specific details due to the investigation, they said the alleged sexual conduct was reported on the same day to the school, which then contacted San Luis police.
In an official statement released at the time to its Facebook page, Yuma Union High School District posted that pursuant to Arizona law, and in consultation with legal counsel, the district had taken immediate action to terminate employment for Gomez-Coronel.
The Yuma Union High School District confirmed that Gomez-Coronel had worked at the school for two years.