Ex-ASU football player gets 2 years in prison

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by Jacques Billeaud, Associated Press

azfamily.com

Posted on March 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 18 at 10:12 AM

PHOENIX (AP) -- A former Arizona State University football player convicted of trying to sexually assault a 21-year-old woman and a related burglary was sentenced Monday to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Andres Rafael Garcia, 23, received the prison sentence for the burglary conviction and was sentenced to lifetime probation for his attempted sexual assault convictions. He was given credit for the nine months he has already spent behind bars.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Teresa Sanders said she couldn't send Garcia to prison on the sex convictions because lawyers on both sides had agreed to probation on those charges as a condition of his plea agreement. Garcia had faced 1 to 3 years in prison for the burglary conviction. His lawyer sought a one-year sentence.

The victim told the judge she suffers physically and emotionally from the attack and has experienced troubling flashbacks.

"There's absolutely no excuse to justify what you have done to me," she said to Garcia before he was sentenced.

The Associated Press generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

Authorities say Garcia attacked the woman after a night of partying in Tempe on June 6.

They say she lost consciousness after Garcia caused her to fall into a wall but later regained consciousness and was unable to cry or move her body as Garcia attacked her.

Prosecutors said the burglary occurred when Garcia entered a fenced apartment complex and an enclosed yard with the intent of attacking the woman.

Garcia cried as his supporters asked Sanders for leniency.

Garcia later told the judge that he betrayed the victim, who was previously a friend, and deserves to be punished. But he said he isn't a sexual predator.

"I am not a criminal, your honor," Garcia said. "Unfortunately, I made a very bad mistake."

Garcia joined the Sun Devils in the 2012 season as a nonscholarship player but was later dismissed from the team.

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