Former student pleads no contest to assault charges, faces jail time


Courtesy of Crawford County Correctional Facility

Alex Weidenhof, News Editor

A former Allegheny College student has pleaded no contest to charges related to an April on-campus sexual assault. He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Moses Alcantara Garcia, 21, formerly of the Class of 2020, was arrested May 1 on charges he sexually assaulted a woman on Allegheny’s campus. The victim told police of the assault, which occurred in her residence hall in the early morning of April 14, at the Meadville Medical Center April 26, the Meadville Tribune reported.

The criminal complaint, which was filed with the magisterial district court May 1, was written at the emergency department of the Meadville hospital.

When Garcia was arrested, he faced charges of rape by forcible compulsion, a first-degree felony; sexual assault, a second-degree felony; indecent assault by forcible compulsion, a first-degree misdemeanor; and indecent assault without consent, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Garcia pleaded no contest to the charge of indecent assault by forcible compulsion. As part of the plea, the other three charges were dismissed.

A no contest plea means the defendant does not admit guilt, but accepts the state has enough evidence to convict.

Per Pennsylvania law, it can only be accepted with the judge’s consent, unlike a guilty plea.

Allegheny notified students of Garcia’s arrest in the evening of May 1, sending an email saying “a student” was “arrested, arraigned and is being held on charges of sexual assault.” It did not give Garcia’s name, the victim’s name or any further details.

The Campus does not publish the names of victims of sexual assault.

Meadville Police detective Justin Bailey, the arresting officer, testified at Garcia’s May 14 preliminary hearing in front of Magisterial District Judge Samuel Pendolino. Bailey testified that Garcia began to kiss the victim, with her repeatedly telling him no, before forcing the victim on her back and assaulting her, the Tribune reported.

The Tribune also reported Garcia texted the victim after the incident, stating “there are no such words to describe what I did” and “I can’t live with the guilt.”

Garcia, who has been incarcerated in the Crawford County Correctional Facility since his arrest with a $40,000 bail, will be sentenced the morning of Sept. 5.