LCPD provides new details on detective accused of improper contact with a 17-year-old
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Las Cruces Police released new information on a detective accused of inappropriate contact with a minor.
Police said Michael Garcia, 37, was assigned to their crimes against children unit where he investigated sexual abuse or physical abuse crimes.
"He investigated all crimes against children whether that be physical or sexual abuse," said Lieutenant Kerry Clements.
LCPD arrested Garcia Friday and was charged with criminal sexual penetration and criminal sexual contact by a person in a position of authority.
The police department said they learned of the allegations against the 15-year veteran last week and immediately launched an investigation.
Police determined the alleged crimes occurred while Garcia was on-duty and used his authority against the victim who is said to have been 17 years old at the time.
The department would not elaborate as to exactly when the crime took place but said Garcia dealt with the 17-year-old through his duties as a detective.
"He had dealings with her as an investigator so that was the relationship they had," Clements said. "This was by no means a consensual relationship between these two individuals."
Clements said they have not received any prior complaints about Garcia and believe the incident was a one time occurrence.
Garcia is currently on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Clements said they are providing the victim with direct counseling and through La Pinon Sexual Assault Recovery Services.