Police: Mesa man had sex with 16 y.o. runaway he held captive

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MESA -- The following is a press release from the Mesa Police Department:

Mesa Detectives working together with the US Marshals Office were able to arrest Frank Lerma Gamez, 9/26/1970 on three counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor and numerous other charges.

Gamez was arrested at 1:00 am on 8/20/08 when officers located him in the 300 block of E. 10th Ave in Mesa. Police first learned about Gamez a few days prior when a Mesa resident called about a suspicious female.

The caller reported that a woman she frequently saw in her apartment complex looked very similar to a woman on a missing persons poster in a local Walmart.

Officers responded to the complex where they located the 14 year old victim. Initially she denied her real name, but eventually she told officers her correct name.

Officers were able to confirm that she was listed as a runaway juvenile from New Mexico. The victim also admitted that she was 6 months pregnant and claimed that the father was a 16 year old who she no longer had contact with.

She later admitted that Gamez was the father of the child. The victim was detained at that time.

Through further investigation it was determined that the victim said she meet Gamez through the internet and texting in New Mexico. A short time later, he purchased her a bus ticket to Arizona and she had been living with him since she arrived.

She said when she wanted to go home, Gamez held her against her will. Additionally, the investigation revealed that Gamez was having a sexual relationship with the victim and he was believed to be the father of the unborn child.

Detectives working the case also learned that the warrant for Gamez from Colorado was for a similar incident involving a 16 year old.

Gamez was eventually found hiding in a closet and refused officers commands to surrender. A TASER was used on Gamez but he continued to fight with officers.

He was taken into custody and had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment. Gamez had cut his head when jumping a wall trying to get away from officers.

Once released, he was transported to the Police Department where he was interviewed.

Gamez was booked for three counts of sexual conduct with a minor, one count unlawful imprisonment, one count resisting arrest and one count aggravated assault on a police officer. Additionally he is being held on the warrant from Colorado.