COCOA BEACH, Fla. – A man accused of sexually abusing a girl for four years, until she became pregnant at age 15, was ordered by a judge Wednesday to be held at the Brevard County Jail without the possibility to post bail.
Henry Jose Garcia, 40, is facing deportation and life in prison in connection with the crime, according to the Cocoa Police Department.
Garcia started abusing the girl when she was 11 years old, police said.
The victim said Garcia would wake her up in the morning after her mother left for work and take her into his bedroom. He would then remove her clothes and force her to have sex, according to police.
"He would tell her that he would buy her things (and) that he would give her money in exchange for sex,” Detective Debra Titkanich said. “He also threatened violence against other family members if she didn't comply.”
The report goes into further detail as the victim told detectives Garcia forced her to have sex with him at least twice a week. The sexual abuse ended after she became pregnant with his child at the age of 15, the victim said.
Garcia was involved in a romantic relationship with the victim's mother for several years, until they broke up in February.
The victim, who is now 18, recently reported the abuse. She showed detectives text messages in which Garcia admitted to being the father of the child.
"She didn’t come forward until now because she was afraid,” Titkanich said. “What he did to her is absolutely unacceptable and the worse kind of abuse you can imagine. It is something she will carry with her for the rest of her life. … She is now an adult and realized what happened to her is not OK.”
Officials said Garcia was charged with domestic violence and battery in 2016. This is the type of violence the victim told police Garcia used on her mother.
Garcia was arrested Tuesday at the Cocoa Beach resort where he works. Garcia, who has been in the U.S. for more than 10 years on a work visa, is now facing deportation, according to the news release.
Immigration authorities have been contacted about the situation and Garcia’s status is pending.
Officials did not provide information on what country Garcia would be deported to.
If convicted of sexual battery on a child, he could be sentenced to death or life in prison. Officials said the investigation is ongoing and Garcia could face additional charges.