Defrocked deacon found guilty on sexual abuse charges

ALBANY, N.Y. – A defrocked Albany deacon has been found guilty on two counts of sexual abuse.

Angel Garcia has been accused of molesting a now 17-year-old girl when she was just six. The teen testified that Garcia abused her as a child when he was a family friend and spiritual leader. The abuse allegedly occurred when she went to his apartment to play with his granddaughter. She said that he told her not to tell anyone what happened, but years later when he apologized to her, she found the courage to share what happened with a family member. 

Her family initially held off going to the police because they are in the United States illegally, but decided to come forward fearing that Garcia might victimize other children. 

On Thursday afternoon, the jury found Garcia guilty of two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. 

His attorney says he plans to appeal, saying the prosecutors took too many liberties with the timeframe of the alleged abuse — a span of about 5 months.

“It limited and hamstrung what the defense could be in this case. Specifically an alibi defense and I made that clear. How are we supposed to say this didn’t happen because I wasn’t here?” said jay Hernandez, Garcia’s attorney.

He was previously a deacon of Holy Family on Central Avenue, but defrocked in 2010 after allegations of sexual abuse from another woman. 

Garcia has been remanded to Albany County Jail until September 17. He could face up to seven years in prison for each count.

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