Las Cruces man sentenced for rape of teenage girl

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) - A Las Cruces man will spend more than two decades in prison for raping a teenage girl, according to the Dona Ana District Attorney.

Officials say Ace Garcia, 34, was sentenced to 24.5 years after being convicted last month of second-degree criminal sexual penetration of a minor and other crimes.

According to a news release, Garcia, who shared a home with the 14-year-old victim, was asked to drive her to school on the morning of Dec. 2, 2015.

Officials say he instead took her to the family home where he encouraged her to drink "several shots of alcohol" against her will, according to court documents.

He later sexually assaulted the girl while she was changing clothes, according to the news release. 

The victim later told a relative about the assault, who then notified the Las Cruces Police Department.

According to the district attorney's office, a Las Cruces jury convicted Garcia of:

  • Criminal sexual penetration of a child 13-18 by force or coercion, a second degree felony
  • Criminal sexual contact of a minor in the fourth degree
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a fourth-degree felony
  • Concealing identity, a misdemeanor.

Upon his release from prison, Garcia must also register as a sex offender for life and successfully complete a period of supervised probation ranging from five to 20 years.

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