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Teacher found dead hours after rape indictment

7-18-2007 New Mexico:

A longtime New Mexico teacher accused of rape has been found dead in his apartment.

Frank Garcia, 52, of Espanola was indicted Monday on three counts of rape for allegedly molesting an 11-year-old member of his family.

Police say they were also investigating accusations that Garcia molested students in a classroom at Carlos Vigil Middle School where he worked.

"Allegations had come about that he had been inappropriately touching female students in his class room. This happened back in March of this year,” said Sgt. Christian Lopez of Espanola Police.

Just hours after his indictment Monday, Garcia was found dead in his Albuquerque apartment near Louisiana and Lomas NE. Espanola police tell Eyewitness News 4 the Office of the Medical Investigators ruled Garcia died of complications with alcohol.

Because of his death, Garcia’s case will not go further and is considered closed. ..more.. by

Española teacher in sex abuse probe found dead
7-19-2007 New Mexico:

Police say Frank Garcia apparently died of complications from alcohol abuse

A 53-year-old Española middle school teacher under investigation for inappropriately touching female students was found dead in Albuquerque earlier this week, police said Wednesday.

Frank Garcia, who taught history at Carlos Vigil Middle School for at least 20 years, also was indicted two weeks ago by a Sandoval County grand jury on three counts of second-degree criminal sexual contact of a minor, said Lemuel Martinez, 13th Judicial District attorney. The charges stemmed from allegations that Garcia molested an 11-year-old female relative, Martinez said.

Detective Christian Lopez of the Española Police Department said Garcia was found dead Monday in Albuquerque, apparently of complications from alcohol abuse, according to an autopsy. His death was not a suicide, Lopez said.

Española police began investigating Garcia in March when detectives received allegations that he inappropriately touched seven female students’ legs, Lopez said. The school immediately placed Garcia on leave, Lopez said.

Garcia was in the hospital in Española last month with liver problems, Lopez said. At the time, Española police gathered DNA from him for Rio Rancho police, who were investigating the family member molestation allegations, Lopez said. However, Garcia got out of the hospital and disappeared, and had been ignoring requests from Española police for an interview, Lopez said.

He was indicted on the three molestation charges in Rio Rancho on July 5, according to online court records.

Family members became concerned about Garcia because they hadn’t heard from in a while and he hadn’t been feeling well. A brother-in-law called Albuquerque police just before 6 p.m. Monday to ask them to check on Garcia, and police found him dead in his apartment at the corner of Lomas and Louisiana in northeast Albuquerque.

Garcia had faced charges of inappropriately touching students in 1992, Lopez said. Online court records state that a jury acquitted Garcia of nine counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor and four counts of battery in January 1993. ..more.. by Jason Auslander

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