Convicted sex offender out on bond after child abuse arrest

Chris Miguel Garcia, 23, of Orlando, Florida. [Image credit: Florida Department of Law Enforcement]

23-year-old Orlando resident and convicted sex offender Chris Miguel Garcia was arrested on August 21 on a charge of aggravated child abuse, a first degree felony.


Just three days later, on August 24, a bond of $2,500 was filed and he was released from custody.


According to the arrest affidavit, there was a clear request for no bond citing that the arrest was the result of a domestic violence incident coupled with the fact that the defendant had a history of sexual offenses towards children.


In 2013, when Garcia was approximately 16, he was convicted of three offenses which were lewd or lascivious molestation of a victim under 12, lewd or lascivious conduct with a victim under 16, and lewd or lascivious exhibition with a victim under 16. As a result, he is a registered sex offender.


The arrest affidavit states that the incident of abuse occurred on August 9 when Garcia is said to have offered the mother of an unnamed infant to bathe him.  She later told officers that the child didn't have any visible injuries before Garcia had taken him to the bathroom.


When she went to check on them, however, she is said to have noticed a red mark under the child's eye.  Garcia told her that a bottle had fallen and hit the child's eye. The mother became frustrated and went to her father-in-law about the injuries.  As a result, a confrontation with Garcia is said to have caused her to have a seizure due to elevated stress levels.  In order to avoid further confrontation, she waited for Garcia to fall asleep and then took the child to the hospital.


While the child is said to have presented with visible bruising to begin with, the extent of the injuries were not known until further examination revealed injuries that could have resulted in paralysis or even death.


According to the affidavit, the child had bruising below the right eye, right temporal swelling, a blood blister, abrasion, and bruising on the left ear, ocular subconjunctive hemorrhages to both eyes, an oval contusion to the tongue, a laceration the neck, multiple rib fractures, multiple areas of dead brain on both sides of the frontal lobe and a fracture to the C3 vertebra among other injuries.


Doctor Kesler, described as a Subject Matter Expert on child abuse with the Child Protective Team explained that some of the injuries to the child were likely "caused by an object being forcefully inserted into the child's mouth."  Dr Kesler additionally explained that the "fracture to the C3 vertebra with ligament damage and epidural hematoma was extremely alarming, due to this type of injury commonly causing paralysis and even death."


In an interview with the mother, she is said to have revealed that Garcia had shown signs of "resentment and jealousy" towards the infant, and had "become detached" in recent weeks. She also stated that there had been a previous incident of abuse in which she "observed him possibly strangling" the child.


In a controlled phone call placed from the hospital to Garcia, he was heard to tell the mother to "make something up" about how the child had become injured.


On August 25, Garcia entered a plea of not guilty.  His next court date is not known.