BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Abuse doesn’t just go away. It can cause trouble for years. That’s what happened to the girl in this case, and it eventually led to her alleged attacker’s arrest.
Delray Beach police first got this case, even though it happened outside Boynton Beach, more than two years ago.
An officer wrote in his initial police report that on Jan. 14, 2020, he responded to a DCF investigation about a girl who was 17 at the time. The DCF report stated when she was younger, approximately 12 to 16 years old, she was molested by a man whose family was apparently very friendly with hers. The exact relationship was blacked out of his arrest report.
It said the molesting happened “on several occasions. There was fondling and kissing. [The victim] had been having a lot of anxiety and just recently told her parents of the molestation. [The victim] recently traveled to Mexico in December and saw the suspect, Alberto Garcia.”
The officer and DCF investigator found out [the victim] and her parents were at the hospital. The report only said that was “for an unrelated reason to these allegations,” but they “made contact with [the victim] in the juvenile psychiatric unit. [She] was transported to this hospital from [another] after telling the doctor that she wanted to end her life.”
...telling the doctor that she wanted to end her life.
She told authorities, “When she was approximately 10 or 11 years old, a [unknown] that used to [unknown] named Alberta Garcia touched her inappropriately on several different occasions. She recalls several times when Garcia would kiss her, hug her, and tried to touch her inappropriately at her house in Delray Beach. Her parents would also drop her off at Garcia's house in Boynton Beach for him to [unknown]. While at his house, Garcia would touch her [body part] with his hand, take her hand and place it on his......
“[The victim] mentioned two specific incidents when she was at the pool with Garcia and his daughters, and he touched inappropriately. Garcia also walked in on her and his daughter when they were both showering together at his house. The last time she remembers Garcia trying to kiss her was when she was approximately 15 years old. She was at her house and her family was having a get-together. She was in the kitchen and Garcia told her to come over to where he was near the refrigerator. When they were alone Garcia tried to kiss her. She pushed him away and walked away.
“[The victim] stated she has known Garcia since she was little. Her family moved out of [unknown] when she was approximately 10 years old and moved to her current house. Garcia later [unknown] and went to live in Boynton Beach. She did not say anything to her parents before due to the fear she had that they would not believe her and that if she told them that she would cause problems between them and Garcia. She recently told a close friend who then told her mother. She was triggered when she found out that she was going to see Garcia again when she traveled to Mexico.
“Garcia is currently in Mexico City. He is undocumented and trying to get his residency to come back to the United States. I spoke to [the victim]'s mother, [name], who did not know the full extent of the allegations. [The mother] stated she knew Garcia touched her daughter inappropriately from what her daughter's friend told her. [The mother] confirmed that she would drop [the victim] at Garcia's house when she was younger. [The mother] also confirmed that Garcia is currently in Mexico and not in contact with her daughter.”
A few weeks later, there was a forensic interview with child advocates but first, authorities met with the girl’s parents.
“[The father] remained silent throughout our meeting and allowed his wife to answer all of the questions asked which were necessary for gathering additional information to assist with the forensic interview. [The mother] stated that she and her family live in jurisdiction of the city of Delray Beach and her daughter [name] told her that she has kept quiet about being sexually abused because she didn't want to get the suspect in trouble because he is a [relationship]. Ms. [last name] said that when [the victim] was eleven years old and staying at the suspect's house in Boynton Beach, he touched her inappropriately by putting his hands on her private parts. [The mother] said she did not know any other details.
...she did not want the doctor to touch her.
[The mother] said that she's no longer employed because of [the victim’s] depression. She said that about a year ago, [the victim] was diagnosed with cystic breasts and she did not want the doctor to touch her. She said once this has been removed, but there are still four more that require removal and they are not sure when that will happen. Ms. [last name] stated that [the victim] has been depressed about her medical condition, and she did not know about the sexual abuse until recently. [The mother] said the suspect is currently residing in Mexico City awaiting approval of paperwork for him to return to the United States. She said when the family recently traveled to Mexico, they saw the suspect and it triggered a downward spiral, emotionally for [the victim] and she told her parents she did not want to ever be around him again.
In the forensic interview, the victim told the senior case coordinator that Alberto Garcia “was touching her inappropriately. She said it started when she was 12 or 13 years old and continued until she was 16. [The victim] said the touching happened in the home where he was living with his wife and four daughters in Whispering Pines in Boynton Beach when she would stay overnight in their home. [She] said Garcia would come into the room where she was watching TV and sit or lay down next to her and touch her on top of her clothes on her [body part] with his hand, on more than one occasion. [The victim] said that one time, he touched her underneath her clothing on her [body part] with his hand, and moved his hand all around. She denied that anything ever [graphic]. She said he also kissed her on the mouth when her mouth was closed. [The victim] also said that Garcia grabbed her hand and put it on his [body part], on top of his clothing, and made her squeeze his [body part] while he was holding her hand. [The victim] also said that one time she was sleeping on the couch, and she woke up to him being behind her and feeling his [body part] on top of her clothing rubbing on her ‘butt.’ [The victim] also said there was a community pool where they would swim in and, when they were swimming, he grabbed her thighs. She also said she felt his [body part] above her butt on top of their clothing.”
A recording of the forensic interview was entered into evidence and the arrest report detailed how the victim’s accusations were confirmed by the suspect.
“I spoke with [the victim] who said she was willing to do a controlled call. Therefore, on Friday, March 6, 2020, at 1445 hours, I responded to the residence of the victim, [name], located at [address], for the purpose of completing a controlled call to the suspect.
Upon my arrival, I met with [the victim] who advised me that she was very eager to complete the call. Therefore, using [somebody's] cell phone, phone [number] we attempted to call the suspect, Alberto Garcia-Hernandez, at cell phone [number]. This attempt was digitally recorded. The call went unanswered and it was determined that his this phone number was no longer belong to the suspect. [The victim] told me that's a suspect was currently living in Mexico City, Mexico, while his wife and daughters remained in the United States, living in Boynton Beach, Florida. [The victim] said that the suspect is working on his return to the United States, and is trying to do so legally in order to become a citizen of the United States. [The victim] is aware of this situation as her parents had [possibly relationship with] Garcia until [the victim’s] recent disclosure. [The victim] advised me that the reason she is so eager to do the controlled call is that she wants to hear the suspect to admit to what he had done to her, and also to prevent his return to the United States so that she never has to see or fear him again.
“At this time, [the victim] and I discussed an alternative option for making telephone contact. It was determined that we would attempt calling Garcia via Facebook Messenger call. As a result, using [the victim’s] cell phone, phone [number] and digitally-recording the call, Garcia's Facebook Messenger was called. Garcia answered and willingly engaged in a conversation with [the victim]. The entire call was completed in Spanish without the benefit of a translator. During the call, [the victim] and I were communicating and writing to ensure that details of the encounter between she and the suspect were outlined in address. At the conclusion of the call, [the victim] told me that she was very happy because the suspect admitted what he had done to her over the years. She said he admitted to using his hand to touch her [body part], over her clothing, on several occasions. [The victim] told me that Garcia also admitted to touching her [body part], underneath her clothing, with his hand, and one occasion. [The victim] said that Garcia also admitted to touching her ‘butt’ with his [body part], over her clothing, while she was lying on the couch, as well as placing her hand on his exposed [body part]. [The victim] said that Garcia was extremely flirtatious with her during the call, and mentioned that now that she is over the age of 18, they could ‘Take things further.’ [The victim] also said that Garcia said she should come to Mexico City with his family in May, 2020, when they visit, so the two of them can be together.”
The phone call was put into evidence. A translated version of the summary was provided in the arrest report.
“During the controlled call, [the victim] told Garcia that she was eighteen years old now and Garcia advised that he is forty years old now. The victim stated that she has known Garcia for a long time, and that he was in her life for a long time, since she was little. Later in the call, after establishing report, [the victim] asks Garcia ‘But do you remember when you'd have fun with me before, when I was little?’ Garcia said ‘Yeah.’ [The victim] replied, ‘Oh yeah? How?’ Garcia said, I took you, ‘To a 15th birthday party or to buy pizza.’ [The victim] said, ‘That's not what I'm talking about now. I'm talking about when we were in the house.’ Garcia said ‘Mmmm, remind me,’ and then laughed. [The victim] said, ‘You don't remember? When I'd be in the bedroom and you'd come, you'd sit down next to me. You don't remember?’ Garcia said, ‘Oh yeah, well, I'd - I'd hug you and tell you that - that you were my chicken, well, that you were my other baby,’ and then he laughed. [The victim] said, ‘Yeah, but you'd also touch me, don't you remember?’ Garcia replied, ‘Yes.’ [The victim] said, ‘Where would you touch me, let's see?’ Garcia replied, ‘I touched your chest, on your chest.’ [The victim] said, ‘And where else? Let's see.’ Garcia replied, ‘One time I touched you down there.’ [The victim] said, ‘Not one time.’ Garcia replied, ‘I remember it was just one time.’”
During the forensic interview, the victim had said “that Garcia had touched her inappropriately between the ages of 12 and 16, and when Garcia was 34 to 38 years of age. [The victim] said that Garcia used to touch her [body part] over her clothing, but on one occasion, Garcia ‘Touched her underneath her clothing on her [body part], with his hand, and moved his hand all around.’ Garcia admitted to this during the controlled call, violating [the law against lewd or lascivious molestation]. During the controlled call, Garcia also admitted to touching [the victim’s] ‘Chest’ as well as, ‘Being on the couch with [the victim] with his body behind her. During the forensic interview, [the victim] said he was behind her on the couch, and she felt his [body part] on top of her clothing rubbing on her, ‘butt.’ During the control call, Garcia admitted to these acts, as well, which also violates [the law against lewd or lascivious molestation].
“During the forensic interview, [the victim] said that Garcia put her hand onto his [body part] and made her squeeze his [body part]. Based on all other allegations being substantiated via the controlled call, and the credibility of the victim, this act violated [the law against lewd or lascivious molestation].”
Everything up until this point happened two years ago. The arrest report was signed by a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office detective on Jan. 22, 2021.
It ended with this paragraph: “Based on the admissions of Garcia during the controlled call, probable cause exists. However, due to my inability to make contact with Garcia as he is currently residing in Mexico City, Mexico, this case is being forward to the office of the state attorney for a filing decision on the three counts.”
Alberto Garcia was booked on April 24 of this year. No details of his arrest were provided. Bail for each of the three counts of lewd or lascivious molestation was set at $250,000. Garcia remains in the Main Detention Center of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.