MARTINEZ -- A Brentwood man who once ran for state office was found guilty by a Contra Costa jury Thursday afternoon of 32 felony counts of child molestation.
Gordon Blake, 53, was charged with 34 counts of molesting four boys over an eight-year period beginning in 1992. The jury deliberated for two days before returning the verdict.
Prosecutor Ryan Wagner said he believes the jury found the four victims to be compelling witnesses.
"I think it was extremely apparent as each guy came in and talked about something that happened 20 years ago, how hard it was for them and how uncomfortable it was, how apparent their pain was, that the idea they might be fabricating these stories just wasn't credible," Wagner said.
"It's very disappointing," said defense attorney Tom Johnson. "I feel like we have good grounds for an appeal because of the statute of limitations."
Blake's crimes went unreported until "John Doe 3" -- incarcerated in the county jail at the time -- contacted the Contra Costa District Attorney's office and the Brentwood Police Department by letter in January 2013. Subsequently, three other victims came forward.
Two dozen of the counts related to John Doe 3, who told authorities he lived in Blake's neighborhood as a boy and was frequently entrusted to Blake's care by his mother, a single parent who traveled regularly. John Doe 3 cited numerous incidents of molestation he said occurred at a community pool and spa, in Blake's house and at a cabin owned by Blake's family in Calaveras County.
The two not-guilty verdicts came in charges related to alleged incidents in Calaveras County.
Blake, a political activist who twice ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the state Legislature in the early 2000s, wore tan slacks, a dark sport coat, tie and wire-rimmed glasses in court Thursday, and remained quiet during the lengthy reading of the verdicts. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 15.
Contact Gary Peterson at 925-952-5053. Follow him at Twitter.com/garyscribe.