Man guilty of strangling, attempting to drown and then sexually assaulting Thornton woman

Posted at 5:05 PM, Aug 25, 2021

BRIGHTON, Colo. — A woman who was repeatedly strangled, dragged by her hair, submerged underwater and sexually assaulted multiple times survived the vicious attack to see justice served inside an Adams County courtroom Wednesday.

The man accused of committing the brutal crimes against her the night of January 16, 2020 inside the victim’s Thornton home was handed down a guilty verdict by an Adams County jury.

Fermin Gonzalez-Flores, 33, was convicted of 12 counts including, second-degree attempted murder, kidnapping, assault-strangulation, and three counts of sexual assault.

Prosecutors said the victim was lying in bed when her cousin’s boyfriend, Gonzalez-Flores, entered the room and the two had a brief conversation before he proceeded to strangle the victim until she lost consciousness.

The victim awoke and used a knife and pepper spray on Gonzalez-Flores, but he pulled the victim to floor and strangled her again, according to a release from the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

The news release continues, “After he strangled her a second time, Gonzalez-Flores dragged the victim by her hair to the laundry room and then to the landing area near the front door of the home. The victim managed to open the front door and scream for help but that angered the defendant. Gonzalez-Flores strangled the victim again and then dragged her upstairs to the bathroom. The defendant continued to strangle the victim until she lost consciousness. When the victim awoke, she noticed that Gonzalez-Flores was filling the bathtub with water. The defendant grabbed the victim and submerged her head in the water. She attempted to “play dead” on several occasions, but Gonzalez-Flores continued to hold her head under water.”

Gonzalez-Flores then dragged the victim from the bathtub and into the bedroom where he sexually assaulted the woman multiple times before falling asleep, prosecutors said. The woman was able to escape the house and made it to a coffee shop where she called police. Officers returned to the victim’s home and arrested Gonzalez-Flores.

“The brutality of this crime is truly unspeakable,” said District Attorney Brian Mason in a statement. “The defendant repeatedly tortured, brutalized, and sexually assaulted this victim. I’m grateful to the jury for returning a just verdict.”

Gonzalez-Flores will appear in court for sentencing Oct. 15.