February 3, 2012

Attorney claims Madison sex abuse suspect has alibi

2-3-2012 Alabama:

MADISON, AL (WAFF) - WAFF is uncovering new information about a Madison County attempted rape suspect.

The attorney for a man accused of sexually assaulting a teen outside her workplace in Madison claims he has an alibi. He claims when the attempted rapist attacked the teen he was at work.

But Madison County investigators said his story doesn't add up.

Michael Garza's attorney filed a motion to reduce his bond. The motion claims Garza's employer has video of him working at the time of the attack.

The state obtained the video yesterday. It also says there's a minor issue with the time stamp on the video.

But Garza's attorney argues it's still strong evidence that his client is not who investigators say he is.

Garza's accused of choking a teenager as she closed up a Madison County coffee stand. Authorities say he then sexually assaulted the girl.

She tried to fight off her attacker and escaped further injury when she ran to a nearby business and called police.

The Madison County Sheriff's Department picked up Garza after several tips came in.

There's a lot of confusion over why Garza is charged with attempted rape and sex abuse and not rape.

WAFF's legal analyst, Mark McDaniel, said that's right in line with what he'd expect. He said both parties' sexual organs need to touch to bring on a rape charge. Allegations have never gone that far.

Investigators do say Garza sexually assaulted the teenage girl.

McDaniel says that can mean a variety of things, but in the end attempted rape and rape are both Class A felonies. Both carry the same penalties.

McDaniel said this case also caught his attention for another reason.

"A lot of sex offenses people know each other. What makes this case so sinister and so dangerous is that this is a person that did not know this victim. That makes this person a predator - a person lying in wait if you will. These are the people that are the most dangerous," he said.

Garza remains in custody on a $60,000 bond, though his attorney filed a motion to reduce it.

As soon as the judge makes a ruling on that we'll pass it along both on-air and online. ..Source.. by Nick Lough

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