By Angie Madrid
RIVERSIDE, CA—During a preliminary hearing held here in Riverside Superior Court Tuesday, District Attorney Stacie Gravely asserted there was sufficient evidence against defendant Norman Garcia for proof of intent to commit a lewd act against a child.
Norman Martinez Garcia was charged with numerous counts of committing lewd acts on a child under 14 and aggravated sexual assault with a child on January 1, 2015.
As the hearing began, DDA Gravely called Detective Gerardo Medina to present evidence on the incident that occurred on New Year’s. Medina had been assigned to the case and interrogated the alleged victim after the incident.
Detective Medina explained that the victim disclosed Garcia had sexually molested her on two or more occurrences before the New Year’s incident.
Medina recalled the victim disclosing, after the third incident, that she got into an argument with her mother in which she revealed she was being sexually assaulted. Prior to this argument, the victim had not discussed the previous incidents that had occurred in San Bernardino.
Public Defender Linda Moore continued her cross-examination by asking Medina if the victim had stated whether Garcia had been forceful with her. Medina stated that the victim had not mentioned that he was forceful, but she had stated the actions were hurting her.
As Judge Bernard Schwartz read over Garcia’s charges, discussion arose between the defense and prosecution over whether there was sufficient proof of intent to commit a lewd act along with evidence of forcible actions committed by the defendant.
DA Gravely stated she wished to amend the charge of aggravated sexual assault to forcible rape with child, but Public Defender Moore believed there was no evidence, stating, “My argument is that there was no force or fear presented as evidence, in fact, the alleged victim specifically reported the conduct was not forceful.”
In considering to amend the charge of attempting to commit lewd acts, Moore also believed this did not apply, asserting, “There was not sufficient evidence that the intended target offense was a sexual lewd conduct of a child under the age of 14.”
Completely disagreeing, DA Gravely, claimed, “Given the fact, that the defendant had previously committed lewd acts, and the conduct was clearly sexual, and given the fact that the victim had just come out the shower and only had a towel wrapped around her…the fact that he was forcing himself into the room, and she was trying to keep him out, indicates she didn’t want him in. He was grabbing for her towel to trying to take it off. The victim’s indication of that is clear evidence, he was trying to pursue forceful lewd acts with the child.”
Gravely finished by stating that there was clear intent to commit the lewd act at the time. She stated, “There is no other reason to grab onto her towel.”
Judge Schwartz agreed with Gravely’s request to amend the charges and an informational arraignment was scheduled for Aug. 3, with a trial to follow.