Man sentenced to at least 30 years for beating, raping child

Man sentenced to at least 30 years for beating, raping child

PUEBLO, Colo. - A Pueblo mother says her family finally has the closure they have wanted for the past year and a half.

A judge sentenced Jose Garcia, 31, to 30 years to life in prison. In May, Garcia was found guilty of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and beating a then-9-year-old girl.

Stephanie Cordova says knowing Garcia will be in prison for at least 30 years will bring her daughter comfort.

In January 2012, Cordova's daughter was walking home from school in Pueblo when Garcia kidnapped her, punched her in the face and raped her.

Cordova was in the courtroom on Thursday afternoon when the judge delivered the sentence. Her daughter wasn't in the courtroom but Cordova said her daughter was excited to know the case was coming to an end.

"I just want her to feel safe and secure knowing that he's behind bars and he can't hurt her no more. There's no more hurt," Cordova said.

Cordova said the sentencing eases the pain but won't erase it. She said Garcia took away her daughter's innocence.

"She's not at peace," Cordova said. "That peace will never be there again."

"Some days she feels it when around people she kinda gets scared and I hope that she doesn't feel like that anymore and that on most days she just doesn't think of it and just lives with her life," said the victim's 12-year-old cousin, Arriana Apodaca.

Garcia faces another trial in December. He's accused of sexually assaulting and kidnapping another child on the same day.


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