Attorney General opens investigation into Pima County Sheriff, internal investigation yet to open following sexual assault case
TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Attorney General Mayes is launching an investigation into how the Pima County Sheriff’s Department handled a sexual assault case of Ricky Garcia.
A female deputy with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department reported that former Sergeant Ricky Garcia raped her at a holiday party last year. He was quickly fired and is now awaiting trial.
While a criminal investigation is open against Garcia, the department has yet to open an internal investigation.
The Pima Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 in favor of asking the Department of Public Safety or the Attorney General to investigate why an internal probe by Nanos has yet to happen.
According to Sheriff Nanos, there is no need for one yet.
Sheriff Nanos states that internal investigations don’t usually happen until criminal investigations are complete.
“The County Attorney told the board in writing, ‘Look, we don’t do internal investigations when there’s a criminal case pending it’s to protect the integrity of the criminal case,” said Nanos.
However, some of the board members do not agree.
Back when the board was voting in favor of an investigation by the attorney general, District 2 Supervisor Matt Heinz said both the criminal and internal investigations can run simultaneously.
“You need to be running a tight ship on this,” Heinz said, “to make sure the right reports are being made and things are being normalized.”
The attorney general is assigning the case to Supervising Special Agent Kevin Spencer.
The investigation’s launch comes as Ricky Garcia appeared in federal court today, rejecting his plea deal, which would have lowered his sentence to a lesser assault charge. In return, Garcia is seeking probation and no jail time.
Garcia’s lawyer is now trying to get the case sent back to a new grand jury, arguing the one that handed up the indictment didn’t get proper instructions and didn’t see important evidence.
Garcia is set to go to trial in April next year.
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