The Roswell Police Department arrested a New Mexico Military Institute cadet on Wednesday on a Texas warrant for charges of online solicitation of a minor and aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Aljandro Garcia, 19, was arrested around 1l a.m. Wednesday as a fugitive from Texas justice. Garcia met the RPD and NMMI police officers Wednesday, at which time he gave the police permission to hold his laptop. The computer was wanted in the Collin County, Texas, investigation. Garcia was then transported to Chaves County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond until he can be extradited to Texas.
Aggravated sexual assault of a child is a first-degree felony in Texas punishable by a prison sentence of up to 99 years.
The Texas Legislature enacted Ashley’s Laws in the late 1990s to increase penalties for people convicted of child sexual assault. Under these laws, offenders are required to serve at least 50 percent of a prison sentence before being granted parole. They typically end up serving 80 percent of a sentence.
Online solicitation of a minor becomes a second-degree felony if the minor is under 14 years of age.
Lt. John Norton of the Collin County Sheriff’s Office explained that Texas charges for assault are different from those in New Mexico. He said New Mexico laws harken back to the “old days” of assault (no contact) and battery (contact). “In Texas, the term ‘aggravated sexual assault’ means anything including penetration. It becomes aggravated depending on the type of the injuries, the use of a weapon or implement. …”