Ex-salon owner pleads guilty in voyeur case

Gonzalez used cell phone to record teens undressing

7/29/2013
BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Gonzalez
Gonzalez

A former South Toledo salon owner admitted in court Monday that he used his cell phone to secretly videotape three teen-aged girls as they undressed for tanning sessions.

Matthew Gonzalez, 50, of 1337 Cromly Ct., pleaded guilty to three counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, a second-degree felony. He faces up to 24 years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 16 by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Linda Jennings.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors said they would ask the court at the time of sentencing to dismiss three additional counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material as well as one count each of tampering with evidence and obstructing official business.

Gonzalez was the owner of Matthew Vincente Salon, a prominent Garden Road salon and spa, when a 17-year-old client noticed a cell phone in a vent while using the tanning bed at the salon last September. She called authorities, who later questioned and charged Gonzalez.

He has been held in the Lucas County jail since January when additional victims were identified and additional felony charges filed.

In court Monday, Gonzalez stood beside his attorney, Ronnie Wingate, and told the court he used his cell phone to record girls under the age of 18 on three occasions in his salon as they changed their clothes for tanning sessions.

Judge Jennings asked whether he knew the girls were minors.

“At the time, probably some of them, not all of them,” Gonzalez replied.

Jennifer Lambdin, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, told the court that on June 30, 2012, Gonzalez recorded a 17-year-old girl wearing only underwear. On July 13 and July 19, 2012, he taped two 16-year-old girls, both in a full state of nudity, Ms. Lambdin said.

Before accepting his guilty pleas, Judge Jennings told Gonzalez that in addition to the prison time and potential fines that he faces, he also would be classified as a Tier II sex offender and would have to register his address with the county sheriff where he lives every 180 days for the next 25 years.

Judge Jennings ordered his bond continued until sentencing.

The former Matthew Vincente Salon was sold in January and now operates as Shear Design Salon and Spa.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.