Deputies capture man who fled and was convicted of sexual battery in absentia


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Ian Gabriel Montero-Lopez, 19, who left town after posting bond on sexual battery charges and was later convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison, was arrested last night.

According to a release from Sheriff Clovis Watson, Jr., Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Investigators worked as members of the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force to take Montero-Lopez into custody.

Montero-Lopez was convicted by a jury on October 19, 2022, of one count of sexual battery of a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 and one count of sexual battery with physical force.

The juvenile victim told investigators that she had met Montero-Lopez on Snapchat around December 17, 2021, and that they had communicated on Snapchat, text messages, and FaceTime. On the night of December 23, he told her he wanted to see her in person, but she told him it was late and her parents were asleep. She eventually agreed, and at about 1:30 a.m. on December 24, he took an Uber to her residence, and she climbed out her bedroom window to meet him.

They went for a walk in her neighborhood, and Montero-Lopez gave her a “blunt,” which made her very sleepy. They started walking back to her house, and when they got there, they both went into her bedroom. The victim said she was sleepy, confused, and “going in and out of consciousness” during the rest of the incident. She reported that he raped her and then climbed out the window. Her injuries were consistent with her report of the incident.

On November 17, the victim addressed the court for her victim impact statement, and Judge James Colaw sentenced Montero-Lopez to life in prison on the first count and a concurrent 30-year prison sentence on the second count.

In a statement on Facebook, Sheriff Watson said, “Detectives working the case also played an integral part. Through their dedication to staying in touch with the victims, they were able to successfully locate the suspect and provide Warrants Investigators the whereabouts of the suspect.”

  • This comment may come across as callous, and in no way do I intend it to be. Rape is an awful, awful thing and should be punished accordingly. It’s just I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 19 year old get Life plus 30 years for it. Was it because he skipped bail? Or perhaps there are gruesome aspects of this case that they are leaving out? Anyhow, we need to get some kind of consistency with these sentencings. Giving one person 5 years and the next one Life for the same crime doesn’t seem like the right way to go about things.

  • Real Johnny. Judge Colaw is an a-hole judge. He dishes out harsh punishments. But this rapist got what he deserved. He should get castrated. They should cut his junk off so when he goes pee he has to squat in front of everyone in prison.

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