Facing four counts of sexual assault on a child and two kidnapping charges Jose Garcia will now answer to a jury.
Garcia, 30, is accused of kidnapping two young girls back in January and sexually abusing them.
Tears were shed from the mother’s of both victims inside the courtroom. The two families are neighbors and came to support each other. They tell 11 News their daughters are doing well, and recovering. And they are glad to see justice at work.
Garcia was arrested on January 20, one day after the alleged kidnappings.
On the morning of January 19, he is accused of taking her ex-girlfriend’s daughter out of school. He took her to his house and allegedly sexually violated her; then took her back to school.
Later that same afternoon, he allegedly kidnapped a nine-year-old girl who was walking home from school. A statewide Amber Alert was issued for her. The victim managed to escape Garcia after his truck got a flat and a Good Samaritan brought the pair to a Springs Circle K. The young girl saved herself by calling 911.
In the first case he faces charges of second-degree kidnapping and sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust for the crimes against his “step daughter”.
He faces second degree kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault on a child and child abuse in the case against the nine-year-old.
Separate preliminary hearings were held for each case. The prosecution started with the ten-year-old’s case.
Prosecution told the judge that while the 30-year-old is registered with Columbian Elementary to check out the girl, he did not have permission from the girl’s mother. He told school officials his “step-daughter” had a dentist appointment and pretended to sign her out, but never left a signature.
Instead the victim says he took her to his trailer home and touched her inappropriately.
11 News learned from investigators testimony that the ten-year-old says that was not the first time he sexually violated her, touching her with and without her clothes on. She says he even took pictures. Detectives say that later in the month the girl spent the night at Garcia’s house. She said he kept waking her up to come to his room, and when she didn’t he grabbed her when she was asleep. She woke up to him trying to have sex with her.
A detective, who interviewed Garcia, told the court Wednesday that when asked about the sexual abuse accusations, Garcia denied it. He said he “would never touch her” and that it was “not possible.” He told him that he would apologize to the girl. The detective pointed out to the court, that the suspects’ initial reaction was what he called an “excited laugh” and smile. When asked if he thought it was funny, he said no, “it’s not true.”
He says he never touched her and would find out what he did wrong and apologize to her.
He does however admit he had two bottles of vodka that day and forgets or blacks out when he drinks too much. But he doesn’t think the drinking that day was “that bad”.
11 News discovered through testimony that Garcia’s mother, who he lives with, came home that morning. She was confused why the girl was with Garcia alone. She told investigators normally Garcia’s son, the girls’ half brother, was with them.
When Garcia left, she called the girls’ grandmother to ask why the child was there. The grandmother told her there was no reason she should be there, because she should have been in school. The ten-year-old said during an interview that Garcia told her to be quiet when his mother came home. She adds that during her time there, he turned on a “nasty movie”, pornography.
The victim told investigators she had “slept in bed with Jose before” testimony the Garcia’s mother backed up. She said she would wake up to Jose rubbing her.
The child said that Garcia told her not to tell anyone. The defense argued that is the girl felt like she was in danger, she would have asked for help or called her mother before or after the alleged kidnapping and assault.
KKTV also learned Garcia knew his second kidnapping victim who was able to get away at a gas station in Colorado Springs.
Garcia’s defense tried to prove to the judge that she got into his car willingly as she was walking home from school. The attorney cited interviews with her fellow students who said she was talking about running away.
Garcia’s son and his other victim go to the same school. Garcia told police that he knew the girl not only because of the school, but because she lives two doors down from his ex-girlfriend’s house, where his son lives.
The suspect old police that the girl said “hi” to him and got into the car after he offered her a ride. He then says he doesn’t know why they went to Colorado Springs. According to the victim, it appeared he was still drinking vodka, after having two bottles earlier in the day.
Prosecutors told a much different story. They say he forced her into his car, punched the victim in the face, tied her hands, covered her mouth, and even strangled her.
The victim said that she was walking and his car sped up. When she started running to a nearby house he got out and grabbed her and threw her into the truck.
Prosecutors say the girl even says he threatened to “kill her mommy” is she ran away.
The victim didn’t want to talk about the sexual abuse when asked, saying “I don’t want to talk about the bad things that happened in the truck”.
A hospital exam revealed injuries consistent with sexual abuse, including lacerations to her private parts. This pointed to forced sexual contact. The girl also suffered cuts and bruises including “blue and black eyes.”
The defense alleges that she went willingly. After the duo crashed the car, Garcia says he woke up and asked the girl where they were and what happened, not knowing why she was there. 11 News learned they spent the night in the truck.
The judge said that DNA evidence played a big role in his decision to try Garcia on both cases.
Several detectives in court testified that possible DNA matches linked Garcia to the two girls. Possible DNA matches to Garcia were found on the 10-year-old’s underwear. The nine-year-old victim’s DNA’s was reportedly found on samples taken from Garcia.
The two trials have not yet been set. Garcia’s next court date is the end of July. He will not be required to be there as his attorney will only be scheduling a motions hearing.
11 News will stay on top of these two cases and let you know when trial dates are picked.