|Man sentenced to 7 years for sexual battery|
|Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 12 March 2013 10:05|
For his involvement with a minor female, Eduardo Garcia-Cruz was ordered to serve seven years in prison on Monday by Judge Robert Pollex.
Garcia-Cruz, 24, pleaded guilty last week to two counts of sexual battery involving his actions with a minor female. At that time a pre-sentence investigation was waived assuring he would spend time in prison.
According to his attorney, Jane Randall, Garcia-Cruz is an immigrant from Mexico and is without legal papers. Following his prison sentence, he will likely be deported.
Garcia-Cruz used the services of an interpreter throughout all court proceedings. He was originally charged with one additional count of sexual battery and three counts of rape, which were dismissed at sentencing.
His attorney said he has worked as he can, mostly in agricultural work with his last job involving milking cows.
The charges stem from his actions from May to December 2012.
When given his chance to speak Garcia-Cruz through the interpreter said, "I am very sorry. I regret harming her."
In trying to mitigate the sentence for her client, Randall noted differences between the cultures and how teen women are viewed in his culture.
Heather Baker, an assistant Wood County prosecuting attorney, told the court that despite cultural differences and any possible willingness to participate by the victim, "It's his fault, he's the adult."
Baker also noted that some of the defense attorney's characterizations of the case, may not be "the complete truth."
Baker asked for 54 months on each count to be served consecutively, for a total of nine years in prison. The judge chose 42 months on each count to be served consecutively for the aggregate total of seven years. Garcia-Cruz was also ordered to register as a Tier III sexual offender.
He will be subject to five years of post release control sanctions.
The defendant's wife, Tanya Garcia, 41, formerly of Wood County and now a resident of Washington, Ind., is also being held in the Wood County jail facing one count of endangering children for her role in relation to the crime.
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