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Prosecutors say ex-officer tampered with evidence during investigation

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KSWT, FOX 9) - The former Yuma police officer arrested on charges of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a high school student made his initial appearance in court Friday.

Bobby Garcia in handcuffs in courtroom

Prosecutors asked for a cash-only bond and made it clear they plan to present the 28 felony charges to a grand jury and claimed Garcia tampered with evidence while under investigation to hinder prosecution.

Garcia was noticeably shaking his head from side to side as the judge read off his charges.

Yuma Police arrested Garcia Thursday night after an 8-month long investigation.

The investigation launched when the alleged victim came forward and reported she was involved in a sexual relationship with Garcia, according to the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.

The victim was in the courtroom Friday and asked the judge to uphold the no contact order and said she feared for her and the community's safety.

YPD explained the work that goes into an investigation like this.

“We have to collect different parts of it, text messages, and logs reference the phone and also images that may have been up in a cloud or maybe in a computer somewhere. So those are the things it takes a lot of times to go through," explained Sergeant Lori Franklin.

YPD cannot discuss the exact evidence they have, but it was revealed during in November by the AZ Post the ex-officer had a video of the girl twerking.

Garcia was put on paid administrative leave in April and resigned in May.

He is being held on a $100,000 bond and will be back in the courtroom on Christmas Eve.

Crime

Ciara Encinas

Ciara Encinas is an Emmy award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the KYMA in May 2018.

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