Adalberto Garcia sent to prison for child porn possession

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Adalberto Garcia, 24, of Sturgis, convicted in June by a St. Joseph County jury of using a computer to commit a crime and two counts of aggravated possession of child sexually abusive material, was sentenced to 36 months to 22.5 years in prison.

Earlier report: 24-year-old Sturgis man convicted at child pornography trial

St. Joseph County Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman pointed out that Garcia was on probation for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct when he downloaded photos on the Snapchat app.

Garcia could not grasp his actions were criminal and denied committing the crimes.

"I know I'm innocent," he said.

Garcia tried to convince the jury he was reporting the child pornography and did not have it on his phone, computer, or other devices when searched by Michigan State Police Detective trooper specialist Kyle Bower.

Garcia admitted he used the phone to view the three pictures saved on a previous phone. He said he reported the group who shared the images to Snapchat, erasing the messages unless the image were saved.

"I reported the crime, but it was turned back on me. I'm the one here who reported the group," he told the judge.

Snapchat alerted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children pictures of young children being sexually abused were downloaded on their app. That led to Garcia.

Stutesman said Garcia's testimony was "gibberish."

Garcia also denied his guilt in the CSC. He did not want to admit consensual sex with a 13-year-old girl when he was 21 years old, was a violation of Michigan law. He claimed assistant prosecutor Deborah Davis had a vendetta against him.

"She wants me to go away for a long time," he said.

"What I do know is he is well aware that he is on felony probation is not to have Snapchat on his phone or be using it. And he chose to continue to do that up until he was arrested," Davis said.

Davis said Garcia's claims about his innocence and reporting child pornography were false.

"There's absolutely zero evidence that he ever reported it," she said.

Garcia claimed his criminal cases were all mistakes. Davis told him and the court, "These were choices that he made. He made the choice to do these things. And that's that's different than a mistake, It just shows such a lack of understanding on his part," but he represents a danger to the community.

Stutesman also was concerned about Garcia's lack of remorse or understanding of his guilt. In statements to probation staff preparing his pre-sentence report, the judge quoted Garcia "I'm being charged with several charges that I did not do. I did nothing wrong."

Garcia was tearful and said, "I can't rely on the justice system. I just want to go home to my family."

Gracia was charged as a second offender. The 15-year sentence maximum for illegal computer use was enhanced to make the maximum sentence 22.5 years.

This article originally appeared on Sturgis Journal: Garcia sent to prison for child porn possession