Florida

He’s here illegally and was accused of child rape in 2013. Neither is why he’s in jail

Wilibaldo Garcia
Wilibaldo Garcia Polk County Sheriff's Office

Though in Florida illegally from Mexico, 29-year-old Wilibaldo Garcia is in a familiar place -- accused of sexual battery on a girl relative in Polk County.

This time, Garcia’s been charged with sexual battery on a victim under 12 after an 8-year-old told her mother Garcia entered her bedroom during the night and fondled her. According to the arrest report, on the previous occasion, in 2013, Garcia “fled the country and was not seen by family in Polk County until late 2017, when he initiated contact with his family members.”

Garcia, PCSO says, also has gone by the name “Lorenzo Sipriano.”

This is also too familiar a place for Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Two weeks before arresting Garcia, PCSO jailed Jesus Ramirez-Velasco on 20 counts of rape after his girlfriend’s daughter told detectives Ramirez-Velasco had been forcing sex on her at least once a week for five months. Ramirez-Velasco slithered back into the country after his 2008 deportation to Mexico.

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Garcia’s relatives found themselves in a familiar place on Aug. 24 after an 8-year-old described a terrifying previous night to her mother.

According to the arrest report, she said Garcia, 5-foot-4 and 200 pounds, came into her room, put his hand down her underwear and put her hand on his penis. When she tried to turn away from him, he repositioned her for fondling. The arrest report says she cannily told Garcia she needed to use the bathroom, then stayed in there until she knew he was gone.

He’d done the same thing in 2017, the girl told her mother, while she was in a hammock.

On Aug. 31, the report said, cops listened in on a phone call between the mother and Garcia in Spanish and Chatino, a language spoken in the Oaxaca part of Mexico. Garcia told the mother he didn’t remember doing that of which he was accused.

But in a text message conversation, translated from Spanish to English, Garcia responds to the accusation with “Forgive me, I don’t do it again or get close to (the girl). I promise you it won’t happen again and I’ll be there Sunday. I was drunk and I didn’t remember. I only remember that I was sitting in the chair when I woke up, I promise...”

Garcia invoked his right to remain silent when Spanish-speaking investigators showed up to his home. He’s being held without bond. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has put a hold on him, PCSO said.

Axel Noguera, who was raped as a child and was allowed to stay on a victim visa, was denied legal permanent residency because of a failed marijuana test, his lawyers say. He is being held in immigration detention pending removal to Argentina.

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