A convicted Las Cruces child sex molester, sentenced to 24.5 years in prison on Wednesday, told a district judge he would not accept guilt for his actions.
“I paid my debt back to society," said 34-year-old Ace Garcia. "I don’t owe anybody nothing.”
"You still believe you’re innocent to these charges?” Judge Fernando Macias asked, to which Garcia said 'Yes.'
An investigation revealed Garcia was asked to drive the 14-year-old victim to school on the morning of December 2, 2015. Instead of taking her to school, Garcia took her to a house where he encouraged her to drink “several shots of alcohol” against her will, according to court records.
Later that day, Garcia sexually assaulted the girl while she was changing clothes. The victim disclosed the attack the following day to a relative, who then notified the Las Cruces Police Department.
"I will have to live with this damage forever," the victim tearfully told the court, two years later.
“She is a prisoner of fear, constantly looking over her shoulder, in fear of Ace," her mother said.
“I would ask that the court has no mercy on the defendant like I was given no mercy on the rape," the victim tearfully told Judge Macias.
Garcia was convicted in early November of four charges: criminal sexual penetration in the second degree of a child, criminal sexual contact of a minor in the fourth degree, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and concealing his identity.
After three hours of deliberation, the jury found Garcia guilty in November, a spokesman with the District Attorney's Office said.
“To the family and everybody involved, I also forgive them as well," Garcia said.
"You’re forgiving them because they made false accusations against you?" Macias asked, to which Garcia again said, 'Yes.'
The 34-year-old faced a maximum sentence of 30.5 years in prison and a mandatory sentence of seven years, according to the D.A.'s office