Oregon Firefighter Acquitted On Junior Program Sexual Abuse Charges

A former Oregon firefighter who was accused of sexually abusing a junior firefighter when she was 14 and 15, has been acquitted of all charged. Carlos Villa-Garcia was acquitted by a Benton County Circuit Court jury yesterday. He was facing one count of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

Villa-Garcia was responsible for overseeing the Junior Firefighter Program for the Monroe Rural Fire Protection District. The abuse allegedly took place between January and May 2016.

The victim, identified in Benton County Circuit Court filings as Donna Doe, is suing the Monroe Rural Fire Protection District for $3.5 million. The suit alleges Villa-Garcia sexually abused her starting when she was 14, and that the fire department failed to properly investigate the girl’s claims once they were made. It also alleges the fire department failed to comply with Oregon’s mandatory child abuse reporting requirement.

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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