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Mental Competency of Accused Child Abuser in Question

MODESTO - The Stanislaus County Superior Court is trying to determine whether a 33-year-old Turlock man is mentally fit to face criminal charges of sexually abusing a teenage girl.

Robert Daniel Gomes is accused of continuous sexual abuse of a child, sodomy, oral copulation with a person younger than 14 and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor more than three years younger.

The alleged victim, who was known to Gomes, was 13 when she says the abuse started and is now 16.

Gomes appeared in court briefly Monday morning. His defense attorney, Jeffrey Tenenbaum, was in the middle of a murder trial in Merced County and could not attend Gomes' mental competency hearing.

Judge Thomas Zeff postponed the hearing until June 4. The judge said he has received a report from a mental health examination on Gomes, but he did not discuss it in court.

The defendant remains in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail without bail.

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