Satan-blaming church deacon gets rider in sex abuse case

CALDWELL-- A Nampa deacon who claimed that Satan took control of his body and made him molest a 12-year-old girl in a church storage room is headed to prison.

But 57-year-old Alexander Gonzales Garcia, who was arrested in December, could spend only a year behind bars after Judge Bradly S. Ford opted Tuesday to retain jurisdiction.

Garcia was sentenced to 20 years in prison with five years before parole eligibility, but could still be released as early as 2015 if he successfully completes his term of retained jurisdiction, commonly known as a "rider."

He will also be required to register as a sex offender and pay about $8,000 in civil fines and court costs.

Garcia, a deacon with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nampa, was originally charged with lewd conduct with a minor under 16. In an interview with police detectives, he admitted touching the girl inappropriately during a July potluck at the church, but insisted Satan had been in the storage room with him, and had made him molest the girl.

He pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor in March, and prosecutors recommended a sentence of retained jurisdiction.

"Mr. Garcia used his position of trust in the church to take advantage of the victim, and he deserves to be behind bars where he can no longer be a danger to the community," said Prosecutor Bryan Taylor. "This case should serve as a reminder to every parent that you need to be very careful of who your kids are hanging around with."


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