Portales man sentenced to 12 years for sex offenses

A Portales man was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for molesting an 8-year-old child.

Derek Garcia, 27, will be required to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole and will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to a press release from the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

A jury deliberated less than a half hour before convicting Garcia on two counts of criminal sexual contact of a child on June 30, the release said.

In February 2009, a child reported to a school social worker that Garcia, a family acquaintance, had touched her inappropriately. Garcia was arrested following an investigation by the Portales Police Department, the release said.