St. James man charged, accused of raping girl in 2014

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(St. James, MN) – A St. James man is accused of raping a girl in 2014, when both he and the female were sixteen years old.

Jose Luis Garcia was charged with two counts of felony 3rd-degree criminal sexual conduct in Watonwan County Court.

According to a juvenile petition signed by Watonwan County prosecutor Stephen J. Lindee, a woman came forward to St. James Police in July 2018 to report that she’d been forcibly raped by Garcia in April or May of 2014.   The woman said she and Garcia were both 16 when the alleged rape occurred at a home on the 1000 block of 1st Avenue South in St. James.

The woman told police she laid down on a couch in the home because she was going in and out of consciousness or sleep.  She was unsure, according to the petition, whether she’d been using marijuana or had been drugged, but said she woke up to find Garcia having sex with her.  She told police she was too weak and tired to fight Garcia off, as he told her “this will get a lot easier.”  The victim said she had no recollection of removing her clothing, according to the petition.  The victim said Garcia later forced her to perform oral sex on him in the backseat of her car.

According to the petition, the victim said she spent time with Garcia on a couple of other occasions afterward because she didn’t want to make him feel like something was wrong.  She also reported text messages from Garcia, including one from July 2017 where he told her he would pay her to spend the night in a Mankato hotel with him, which she declined.

Garcia is currently 20-year-old.  Because he was 16 at the time of the alleged rape, Watonwan County prosecutors filed successfully to have him certified as an adult, and he will be tried as an adult in court.

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