Man admits gross indecency with child

A/C repairman also admits taking indecent photographs

A man accused of gross indecency with a 5-year-old girl pleaded guilty to two counts in Summary Court on Thursday. He also pleaded guilty to six charges of taking indecent photos of the girl. 

The offenses occurred on Sept. 10 when Mitchell Anderson Garcia, an air-conditioning repairman, was working in the child’s home. 

At his first court appearance, the presiding magistrate was told that the offenses occurred when the girl went to her room to change her clothes. When someone was heard approaching, Garcia stopped what he was doing and climbed a ladder as if he were working. 

The girl immediately told an adult in the home what had happened; police were notified and Garcia has been in custody since. 

Garcia, 25, pleaded not guilty last month. He was then represented by another attorney. On Thursday, Lee Halliday-Davis represented him and objected to an application for sentencing to be done in the Grand Court. 

She also explained that her client did not enter a plea to a seventh charge of taking indecent photos of a child because of the quantity alleged. 

She and Crown counsel Eleanor Fargin said they would meet with police officers experienced in dealing with information stored on phones. The question was whether some of the images were duplicates. 

Ms. Fargin said she asked for sentencing to take place in Grand Court because Summary Court sentencing power is restricted to four years. She said it was “reasonable and foreseeable” to look beyond that four-year limitation. 

Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez pointed out that when several offenses occur at the same time, sentences tend to be concurrent rather than consecutive. 

Ms. Fargin agreed, but noted that when a sentence for one offense is near the top of a permitted range, the court can add on. 

The magistrate adjourned the matter until Nov. 16, to consider the application. She said that would give the attorneys time to review the number of indecent photographs.