A Weld County man was found guilty on three charges of sexual abuse involving a child, a Weld County District Attorney press release states.
After nearly a year and a half of court hearings, the judge found Jose Garza, 35, of Evans, guilty on all counts of sexual abuse involving a child.
Garza is accused of sexually abusing a female child for three years, from April 2013 until February 2016.
The initial investigation began on Feb. 18, 2016, when the victim told one of her family members that Garza had been sexually abusing her for a few years. The victim's family member then made a police report with the Evans Police Department.
According to the victim, Garza began "fondling" her in 2013. She told police Garza eventually began "penetrating" her and would also demand her to perform oral sex on him.
Garza told the victim it was "good for her" and that she had no choice, according to the release.
When the victim would refuse to perform such acts, or ask Garza to stop, he would "smack" her. The victim also told police that Garza threatened to kill her mother if she told anyone.
Garza faces the minimum of 10 years to life behind bars.
"We take all crimes extremely seriously, and it's our job to prosecute criminals," Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said. "But, when it comes to crimes of this nature, especially when children are involved, we have zero tolerance and seek the maximum penalty to make sure it doesn't happen again."
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 23, 2018.
Abuse warning signs
• Acting out in an inappropriate sexual way with toys or objects.
• Nightmares, sleeping problems.
• Becoming withdrawn or very clingy.
• Becoming unusually secretive.
• Sudden unexplained personality changes, mood swings and seeming insecure.
• Regressing to younger behaviors, e.g. bed-wetting.
• New adult words for body parts and no obvious source.
• Talk of a new, older friend and unexplained money or gifts.
• Self-harm (cutting, burning or other harmful activities).
• Physical signs, such as, unexplained soreness or bruises around genitals or mouth, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy.
• Running away.
Any one sign does not mean that a child was or is being sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that a parent should begin to ask questions and consider seeking help. Keep in mind that some of these signs can emerge at other times of stress, such as during a divorce, a death of a family member or pet, problems at school or with friends, or other anxiety-inducing or traumatic events.
Signs that an adult may be using their relationship with a child for sexual reasons include:
• Refusing to allow a child sufficient privacy or to make their own decisions on personal matters.
• Insisting on physical affection such as kissing, hugging or wrestling even when the child clearly does not want it.
• Being overly interested in the sexual development of a child or teenager.
• Insisting on time alone with a child with no interruptions.
• Spending most of their spare time with children and having little interest in spending time with people their own age.
• Regularly offering to baby-sit children for free or taking children on overnight outings alone.
• Buying children expensive gifts or give them money for no apparent reason.
• Frequently walking in on children/teenagers in the bathroom.
• Treating a particular child as a favorite, making them feel "special" compared with others in the family.
• Picking on a particular child.
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