OTTAWA — A Leipsic man was sentenced Monday in Putnam County to a minimum of eight years and maximum 12 years in prison for the rape of a 14-year-old.
Joseph Garcia, 39, appeared in court with his attorney Alex Treece before Keith Schierloh, Putnam County Common Pleas Judge, who handed down the sentence. Garcia will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Since he pleaded guilty, a charge of sexual imposition was dropped.
Garcia previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the rape charges but was found competent to stand trial via an exam by Court Diagnostics in Toledo.
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.
Treece said his client served 10 years in the Air Force and suffered from bipolar disorder and PTSD. Garcia did not get treated by a licensed professional but instead medicated with alcohol. He never disputed the victims reports of abuse, Treece said.
Garcia spoke in court Monday and said he regretted his actions.
“If I took time to have myself looked at I could have avoided all of this because not only did it traumatize the victim, but is also hurt her family and my family along with it,” Garcia said.
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 finished cooking, 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.