ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – David Garcia, the man accused of exposing himself to high school students, will not be held until his trial. A criminal complaint states two teens saw 27-year-old David Garcia inside his car touching himself inappropriately with his pants down as he watched them leave Manzano High School earlier this year.
The complaint says this happened on two separate occasions, days apart from each other. Prosecutors in the case fought to keep Garcia detained, arguing that there is a risk Garcia might lewdly expose himself again.
In court on Tuesday, Mar. 21, a surveillance video played shows Garcia following one girl as she returns home from school. A father of one of the teens testified, saying he is concerned about the danger Garcia’s release might present. “He is not afraid to follow someone home. I mean, it was this close to a kidnapping. It could have been a kidnapping if you ask me. And this isn’t just exposure; this is touching yourself in front of people. This is one step away from a sexual assault,” he says.
Although Judge Britt Baca-Miller agreed with the state that Garcia may still pose a threat to the community, she ruled prosecutors did not meet all of its burdens to keep Garcia in custody. The judge ruled that he be released to pre-trial services and on a GPS ankle monitor.
As part of Garcia’s conditions of release, he cannot be near Manzano High School, the girls’ homes, or the surrounding neighborhood. He also cannot be within 50 feet of a high school. “I think this is quite concerning for all minor residents of Albuquerque. But looking at prong three, whether there are any pretrial conditions that would protect the safety of others, I think that the state has not met this prong,” said Judge Baca-Miller.
Garcia, who said he worked as a scribe at PresNow across the street from St. Pius, is charged with two counts of aggravated indecent exposure and tampering with evidence. A date for his trial has not yet been set.
“Presbyterian is dedicated to creating a safe environment for all of our patients and employees. This individual is an employee of an external vendor and is not an employee of Presbyterian. He has been suspended by that vendor pending investigation and does not have access to any Presbyterian facilities at this time,” said a spokesperson for Presbyterian Health Services in an emailed statement to KRQE.