A Rio Arriba County jury convicted a former high school teacher of two counts of sexual contact of a minor and five counts of sexual penetration of a minor Thursday following a single-day trial in Tierra Amarilla.
Miguel G. Garcia worked at Mesa Vista High School in Ojo Caliente from 2008-15, according to the Rio Grande Sun newspaper.
If sentenced to the maximum on each of the counts, Garcia faces 10½ years in prison.
“Our office worked diligently to secure multiple felony convictions against this predator and combating sexual violence against children will continue to be our priority,” state District Attorney Marco Serna said in an email Thursday.
Garcia’s attorney did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Garcia, 37, of Española, was accused in 2015 of sexually assaulting his victim — a girl between the ages of 13 and 18 — between 2012 and 2013, according to court records.
Garcia was charged with two other counts of child solicitation by electronic communication device, but those charges were severed from the case.
Correction: An early version of this story incorrectly reported that two counts of child solicitation by electronic communication device were dropped. The counts were not dropped, but rather severed from the case.
New Mexican (c) reprinted with permission