The man who had sex with a woman while knowing he was HIV positive will spend 15 years in prison and 10 years on extended supervision.
The victim told police she had unprotected sex with Jimmy Garcia, 36, at the Rothschild apartment building where they both had homes.
"I know I've made mistakes in my life." Making a plea for his freedom in court Monday afternoon, Garcia asks the judge for leniency before the sentencing. "I want to be able to be there for my son," he said.
In August, Garcia reached a plea deal with prosecutors avoiding a jury trial. He was originally charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of 2nd degree recklessly endangering safety for also being accused of having unprotected sex with a 15-year-old girl. However, the two charges of sexual assault of a child were reduced to 2nd degree recklessly endangering safety and a charge of 1st degree recklessly endangering safety was dismissed.
In a letter to the court, the adult victim in this case, whose identity NewsChannel 7 has been asked to keep confidential, says she has not tested positive for HIV since she had sex with Garcia in March of 2011, but that, "It's one of those thoughts that's always in the back of your head. It literally makes me think I'm losing my mind."
The prosecuting attorney hoped to convey that same message of severe emotional distress to the judge.
"Each time he had sex with her, he put her at risk of a death sentence," said Theresa Wetzsteon, the deputy D.A. for Marathon Co.
Wetzsteon says Garcia has known he is HIV-positive since 2009, when his wife found out she had the virus during her pregnancy with their son.
The victim says despite a conversation about STDs prior to sexual intercourse, Garcia never disclosed his HIV status. It was Garcia's wife who finally told the victim. As a result, she's had to undergo tests for a year to make sure she didn't contract it.
"The trauma from that year would last for years to come," Wetzsteon said.
Defense attorney John Bliss reminded the court that the worst case scenario did not occur. Instead of the 20-year sentence the prosecution recommended, he asked for 2-3 years jail time, also taking into account his client's bipolar disorder and depression leading up to the offense.
"You place him on probation for a period of 10 years," Bliss said. "This was not a situation where he set out to harm someone."
Marathon Co. Judge Michael Moran asked Garcia why he would do something so selfish. "Did you intend to inflict this damage onto somebody? Did it just happen that you couldn't help yourself by doing this?"
Moran said he believes Garcia is a danger to the public and the offense shows he has no regard for another person's life and health.
"I just don't feel the remorse or the understanding or the sorriness or to be sorry about it. Or an apology--I didn't hear an apology. And that really concerns me," Moran said.
As Garcia wiped away tears upon hearing he'll spend 15 years behind bars, Moran told him it will also mean he won't see his nearly 3-year-old son until he's 18.
Garcia also has a long list of prior convictions dating back to 1999. He had currently been serving a 5-year cocaine sentence in Langlade Co. That sentence will now be served at the same time as this new one.
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