January 29, 2005

Garcia sentenced

The Daily Journal

By LAURA CLARK/ The Daily Journal

Retired visiting Judge Robert Vonasek on Thursday sentenced Daniel Aram Garcia, 47, of Willits, to three years in state prison for child molestation.

Garcia was arrested and booked into jail Dec. 14. At his arraignment Dec. 16, the well-known and well-liked figure at the courthouse, former candidate for county clerk, and a pastor at a church in Redwood Valley pleaded guilty to one count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child of 14 or 15 years of age. He was then released from jail on his own recognizance with orders not to try to contact his victim or be alone with anyone under the age of 18 without another adult present.

On Dec. 23, Garcia attempted to write to the girl he molested and was rearrested and taken back to jail, where he remained until Thursday's sentencing.

"I am to blame. It's not (the victim's) fault. I want her to understand it's not her fault," a tearful Garcia, in handcuffs and chains and clad in a white jail suit, told the judge.

Posted by kshaw at January 29, 2005 06:38 AM