Local News

Former soldier sentenced to 30 years minimum on child sex assault

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A former Fort Carson soldier will spend at least the next three decades in prison for sexually abusing children.

Joseph Alfred Garcia, 30, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of sex assault on a child by a person in a  position of trust.

One detective testifying at his sentencing told the judge he found approximately 1,100 movies and pictures produced by Garcia.

Garcia's ex-wife also asked the judge for a harsh punishment. She told the judge he betrayed the trust of everyone he ever met, including his family.

One criminal defense lawyer said the 30-year sentence may still be a life sentence.

"It's up to the Department of Corrections to release him when they think it's appropriate after that 30 years, if at all," said Brad Laybourne.

Garcia could have been given a minimum sentence of 10 years. Judge David Prince opted for a longer sentence. He said that Garcia is the kind of predator families fear. According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, Garcia gained the trust of neighbors, then lured some victims into situations in which he would victimize them.

"It's due to the frequency, duration and depths of your crimes," Prince told Garcia.

The arrest affidavit against Garcia indicates one victim was 6 years old.

Because of a deal worked out with prosecutors, Garcia's 14 charges were cut down to two. Garcia was commended by the judge for pleading guilty and not putting his victims through a trial.  

Garcia said in court that he hopes to get treatment in prison.

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