Child reports sexual assaults that spanned the past 9 years
Francisco Garza of Mountain Lake is charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, after being charged in October with six criminal sexual conduct crimes involving another child.
MOUNTAIN LAKE — Francisco Javier Garza, 42, of Mountain Lake, has been charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a child in Cottonwood County Fifth Judicial District Court after a second victim came forth following his October arrest.
In this new case, a child victim reported sexual assaults began at the age of five, and occurred repeatedly over the past nine years, ending when Garza was jailed in mid-October on four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for acts allegedly conducted on a child between Jan. 1, 2015, and Oct. 11 , 2021.
The new charges are all felonies involving penetration or contact with a victim more than 36 months younger than Garza.
According to the criminal complaint, the Mountain Lake Police Department received a video recording from Child’s Voice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, of an interview with the child victim.
During the interview, the victim reported that Garza began the sexual abuse when the child was five. The first encounter was on the victim’s first day of kindergarten, when Garza reportedly blindfolded the child and put something in the child’s mouth. The abuse reportedly began in Garza’s room.
When the victim was seven or eight years old, Garza reportedly began making the victim perform oral sex. It progressed to other sexual acts. The sexual assaults continued until October, when Garza was confined in the Cottonwood County Jail on criminal sexual conduct charges involving another child.
On the charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under the age of 16, Garza faces a maximum 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine. On Count II, first degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim aged 13 to 16/multiple acts over time, Garza faces a maximum 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine. On Count III, first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under the age of 13, Garza faces a maximum 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine.
The Southwest Crisis Center is available in our community to support and empower survivors of sexual and domestic violence. For questions about services or how you can help, contact the Southwest Crisis Center at 1-800-376-4311 or mnswcc.org .