A former Jacksonville man is behind bars following his arrest yesterday for alleged predatory criminal sexual assault.
According to reports from the Jacksonville Police Department, 27-year old Anthony Garcia was arrested at his listed resident in the 100 block of Spaulding yesterday evening. Garcia was subsequently booked at the county jail at around 7:30 p.m. on allegations of predatory criminal sexual assault. Lieutenant of Investigations for the Jacksonville Police Department Doug Thompson says Garcia’s arrest was the result of a months-long investigation into reports of suspicious activity. He explains how authorities came to eventually apprehend Garcia.
“We had been conducting an investigation over the last several months into allegations that Garcia had sexual contact with two younger individuals under the age of 13 that were known to him,” says Thompson.
Lieutenant Thompson says that a tip that was reported to police several months ago is what initiated the investigation. He also says that authorities believe that the alleged incidents took place more than once, and over the span of the last couple years.
“The mother of the children came to the police department to report that these incidents had been told (to her). It happened on more than one occasion, we do not know the exact number, and we believe it occurred between mid-2016 and mid-2017,” Thompson says.
As for why the allegations against Garcia are classified as “predatory” criminal sexual assault, Thompson explains that the difference in age between the victims and the alleged suspect are what factor into what specific charge is handed down.
“The age of the suspect and the victim. Because the suspect is over the age of 17 and the victim is under the age of 13,” Thompson explains.
Given the length of the investigation, Thompson says the only reason Garcia hadn’t been brought into custody prior to yesterday is because he was believed to be out of town. Authorities say Garcia was arrested without incident at the residence that he had given police in the 100 block of Spaulding.