Minister jailed for sex abuse

2nd February 2001 at 00:00
UNITED STATES: A Baptist minister was sentenced to 60 years' jail this week after admitting to molesting nearly two dozen children and videotaping the acts in Greenwood, South Carolina.

The Rev Fernando Garcia, 42, admitted to abusing 23 children, aged five to 13. He pleaded guilty to 32 counts of performing lewd acts and 15 counts of criminal sexual conduct. The encounters took place at Garcia's church office and at an elementry school where he worked as a library aide.

Victims and their parents have turned down counselling services. But Garcia himself warned that he is an example of what can happen without counselling. As a boy in Mexico, Garcia said, he was abused by a Roman Catholic priest.

Police said they found in Garcia's office 26 videotapes of him sexually abusing children and a list of 145 names.

Cash to raise standards

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