Garza jailed on sex charges
Almost one year after being arrested in the March 2006 Whitethorn kidnapping/rape case, one of the defendants was arrested on numerous felony charges involving his alleged sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl....
...As of Wednesday, court documents indicate that Garza is currently charged with — and has pleaded not guilty to — nine counts of felony sodomy with a person under 18; eight counts of felony unlawful sexual intercourse; and two counts of oral copulation with a person under 18....
...On Wednesday, Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Schwartz, who is prosecuting the case, said, “Basically, the charges (against Garza) are based on statutory rape” and that Garza and the alleged victim “were kind of going out.”...
...“The classic term (for having sex with a minor) has been jail bait and if you’re having sex with a minor, you go to jail.”...
But not if you tie her to a tree for three days, and rape her repeatedly. Then you get a "GET OUT OF JAIL FREE" card.
Which is what got us here in the first place...
Yeah, this is yet another one to watch. Along with the case in Fortuna.
Garza accepts plea agreement
On the day he was to confirm his trial date, Nate Robin Garza accepted a plea agreement.
Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Schwartz said Garza, 22, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of unlawful sex with a minor — “which is commonly known as statutory rape” — one count of unlawful oral sex with a minor and also admitted to a probation violation.
Garza’s probation stems from a March 2006 Whitethorn kidnapping/rape case.
Schwartz said Monday’s agreement is “an open plea,” which means a judge will determine whether to sentence Garza to the maximum prison sentence of “four years, four months” or to the “minimum penalty of probation.”
Garza’s case stems from “consensual” sexual relations with a then-16-year-old girl between Dec. 20 and Jan. 5, Schwartz said.
Initially, Schwartz said, Garza was charged with — and pleaded not guilty to — nine counts of felony sodomy with a person under 18, eight counts of felony unlawful sexual intercourse and two counts of oral copulation with a person under 18.
Garza was arrested Feb. 19, almost one year after being arrested in connection with the Whitethorn kidnapping/rape case.
In September, Garza was sentenced to three years of formal, supervised probation for a plea agreement of false imprisonment he accepted with two other defendants with regard to the Whitethorn kidnapping/rape case.
Garza’s twin brother was sentenced to eight years in state prison for a plea agreement of false imprisonment, kidnapping and marijuana trafficking he accepted in connection to his involvement in the Whitethorn case.
The four men were initially accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in Whitethorn in March after a debt to Garza’s brother was not paid.
According to past testimony, the Whitethorn victim claimed she was kidnapped for two days and tied to a tree in Whitethorn for 24 hours.
Sentencing continued in statutory rape trial 5/21/2007