Teen to face psychological evaluation Accused of rape, strangulation at Willow Springs
Accused of rape, strangulation at Willow Springs complex
The case of a New Milford teenager accused of rape and strangulation of a fellow tenant in the Willow Springs condominium complex was continued for a month so he could undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
The handcuffed and shackled 15-year-old Elias Garcia appeared Wednesday in Litchfield Superior Court before Judge James Ginocchio for a first-time arraignment since his case had been transferred from juvenile court to adult court.
An interpreter assisted his Spanish-speaking parents as they were pronounced Mr. Garcia's legal guardians.
The teen stands charged with first-degree sexual assault, first-degree strangulation and first-degree burglary as a result of a home invasion in the early morning hours of Aug. 6.
Assistant State's Attorney Dawn Gallo stated that an additional charge of home invasion has been added to Mr. Garcia's case.
Police have charged Mr. Garcia with breaking into the first-floor unit of a 25-year-old woman where he went into the victim's bedroom and, upon her waking to find him there, violently attacked her, strangling her around the neck until she became unconscious.
At that time, police said in the affidavit, he raped the woman, who was unaware of what occurred until she awoke some time later. She could barely move and realized she had been sexually assaulted, she later told police. She was taken to the hospital where she was treated as a sexual assault victim, the affidavit states.
The young woman almost immediately moved out of the Willow Springs condominium complex where she had lived only since May.
In the affidavit, Mr. Garcia admitted knowing there was a woman living in the unit where he found an open window, but said the two had no prior contact.
Mr. Garcia's attorney, Public Defender Damian Tucker, asked for the case to be continued until Nov. 18 to allow time for the psychiatric evaluation. Ms. Gallo agreed, and the judge ruled such an evaluation would be conducted.
In the courtroom, Mr. Garcia, who is a dark-haired, clean-shaven youth and a New Milford High School sophomore, stood next to his attorney but spoke not a word.
His parents stood a short distance away, wiping tears as he departed after what was about a five-minute proceeding. Other family members sat in the rear and, as Mr. Garcia was escorted out of the courtroom, he offered a slight wave.
In the arrest affidavit, Mr. Garcia's parents stated their son was not home the night of the attack and his father is quoted as stating that his son was hanging out with a bad crowd of friends.
Upon Mr. Tucker's advice, Mr. Garcia's parents and family declined comment. Mr. Tucker also made no additional comment.