For 8 years

She was in trouble. She was 15 and her mother caught her with a bag of marijuana and called police on her. Police came out to do an investigation.

What they found while they were there, was a secret passage leading from behind a recently patched hole in the wall of the garage in the downstairs area, to a closet in the girl's bedroom upstairs.

The girl has told officers that her father Jose Garcia has used the passage to sneak into her room and he has been molesting her since she was 7 years old. She said this has continued up until he was arrested. She is now 15.

A preliminary hearing has been held and the judge has ruled there is sufficient evidence that a crime has been committed and Jose Garcia will be tried on 20 counts of sexual molestation.

Some will say this was just a kid who was mad at her parents for calling police about the marijuana. And that could be true. But most prosecutors won't file charges based solely on a teen's testimony. They would look at  other sources of evidence and would only file if that evidence could be located.

Some will say the mother had to know. And that is always a possibility. But it is also true that many times a child will be told not to tell. Sometimes they are even threatened with harm if they tell. And let's face it, she was most likely taught to mind her parents and that was her father. Garcia certainly seems to have taken pains to hide the trips to the child's room, and that attempt to hide says a lot about the nature of the secrecy.

There will be a trial and the prosecution will have to prove the abuse beyond a reasonable doubt. If the allegations are proven to be true, then Garcia will be sent to jail for the crime.

But this was 8 years of abuse. Removing the father from the home will now provide her with some safety. But she lost her innocence at the age of 7 years, and in those 8 years she has had to deal with it alone. Hopefully now they will seek out counseling for her to help her come to terms with and cope with the events of the last 8 years.

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