Man sentenced for 2014 rape of Davis County girl after DNA links him to crime

Monday , August 21, 2017 - 2:33 PM

Photo supplied/Utah Department of Corrections

Davis County prosecutors say DNA tests have linked Richard Simon Garcia, 46, to the 2014 rape of a 14-year-old girl. He's currently serving time in prison for another crime and was sentenced to five years to life in connection with the rape on Monday.

NADIA PFLAUM, Standard-Examiner Staff

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly described the timeline between the submitted and tested rape kit. We regret the error. 

FARMINGTON — Richard Simon Garcia, 47, was sentenced to five years to life in the Utah State Prison Monday for the rape of a young girl he grabbed off the street in August 2014. 

Garcia, 47, was convicted of numerous sex-based offenses between 1989 and 1999, including attempted forcible sexual abuse, lewdness, sex solicitation and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

RELATED: Utah prison inmate faces trial in 2014 rape of Davis County girl 

Garcia is already serving five years to life in the Utah State Prison at Draper for assaulting a pizza delivery driver and stealing his car, then crashing it through a fence in a chase with West Valley City police.

In January, Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings charged Garcia with rape, object rape and forcible sodomy, all first-degree felonies, and forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony. Charging documents say Garcia accosted and raped a girl as she was traveling home on her longboard.

The girl reported the attack to her mother and was able to describe Garcia’s tattoos for law enforcement, but it wasn’t until the victim’s rape kit was tested  — over two years later — that Garcia was identified as the assailant. 

It shouldn’t take that long in the future. A bill passed by the Utah legislature requires all rape kits to be tested within 30 days. 

On July 20, Garcia pleaded guilty to rape in exchange for the state to drop the remaining charges. 

On Monday, Garcia and his attorney, Richard Gallegos, stood before Davis County District Judge Michael Allphin, who sentenced Garcia to five years to life in the Utah State Prison, to run consecutively to the sentence he is currently serving. 

The state’s recommendation was for the new sentence to run concurrently — or at the same time as — Garcia’s existing five-to-life sentence. The length of a convicted person’s sentence is ultimately determined by the Utah State Board of Pardons and Parole.

Allphin did not explain his reason for departing from the recommended sentence. 

The victim was present for sentencing but did not speak in open court.