It’s okay to fudge your GPA to secure an internship, since you can always bust into the university registrar’s office and intercept the request for your transcript. At least this is what Joshua Gomes must have thought, since he did just that, breaking three times into the University of Virginia, where he had been a law student, to bar the school from receiving a request from the New York law firm where he had landed an internship. Nevertheless, though he pleaded guilty last Friday in Charlottesville Circuit Court, his defense puts part of the blame on a brain tumor.
The first indications that something might be amiss began when a man matching Gome’s description was reported at Carruther’s Hall in the early morning. The next day, on Dec. 6, a university employee spotted a strange hook on the wall of the office’s Diploma Room, which turned out to be a video camera and a flash drive. Since investigators determined that the camera had no broadcasting capacity, they concluded that whoever had put the camera there would probably be back for it, and they hence planned an interception.
“On December 7, 2011 at 2:00 in the morning detectives and officers from the UVa Police Department set up a surveillance operation at Caruthers Hall based on the time of the past two burglaries,” said a written statement submitted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania.
Gomes came on time, at about 3 a.m., and was subsequently arrested. Further investigation found enough evidence to make the case against him solid.
His defense attorney, Bonnie Lepold, mentioned a tumor he had on his pituitary gland that may have altered his judgment, and explained that the young man was also under considerable pressure both in and out of school.
The initial charges against Gomes included two counts of armed robbery and one count of possession of burglary tools, which were later amended in a plea bargain, dropping the tools charge and one armed robbery charge, leaving him with one unarmed robbery charge, which packs a sentence maxing at 20 years.
Gomes is due to be sentenced Dec. 18.