OTTAWA — A Leipsic man who previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to raping a 14-year-old girl was found competent to stand trial Thursday.
Joseph Garcia, 39, appeared before Putnam County Common Pleas Court Judge Keith Schierloh, who set Garcia’s final pretrial for 3:30 p.m. Feb. 13. A jury trial was set at 8:30 a.m. March 10. Garcia appeared in court with his attorney, Alex Treece. Todd Schroeder, assistant prosecuting attorney, also was present in the courtroom.
Schierloh said Court Diagnostics in Toledo completed an evaluation and found Garcia was competent to stand trial.
Garcia was arrested and booked into the Putnam County Jail on June 20 on a rape charge for a May 28 alleged rape that occurred in Leipsic. His bond remains at $150,000.
According to an incident report filed with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, on May 28, deputies said they interviewed the 14-year-old victim, who was babysitting at a home. Garcia also lived at the home, and she said he came home from work and went upstairs. The victim and the children were downstairs playing. After she had cooked food, Garcia came downstairs and began playing with her and the children, according to the report.
At some point, Garcia allegedly pulled the victim by her hair and made her go upstairs to his bedroom and locked the door, according to the report. Garcia threw her down onto his bed and told her to take her clothes off, according to the report.
She reported he raped her repeatedly and that she told him to stop, but he didn’t.
The victim said an adult came home and knocked on the bedroom door but did not get a response. A short time later, another adult pounded on the door asking what they were doing in the bedroom.
The report stated Garcia opened the door and said he and the victim were playing video games.
The adult took the girl downstairs and asked her what they were doing and, according to the report, she stated, “he raped me.”
She was asked if he had done this before, and she said no. A rape kit was conducted on the victim, and a search and arrest warrant was made on Garcia.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.