'Rittenhouse rapist' sentenced to 22-44 years in prison
The man convicted of raping a 26-year-old woman in 2014 in her apartment near Rittenhouse Square has been sentenced to 22 to 44 years in state prison.
Milton Garcia, known as the “Rittenhouse Rapist”, entered a no-contest plea in November of last year as jury selection was beginning. With his plea, Garcia, 28, accepted the charges of rape and kidnapping, amongst others. He was sentenced by Judge Diana Anhalt on Monday.
The case became a lightning rod for opponents of then-Mayor Michael Nutter’s first introduction of an executive order which would halt cooperation between local police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Garcia had been working as a kitchen worker at the time. He is an undocumented immigrant from Honduras and according to news reports at the time, he had already been deported from the country once before.
According to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, the incident occurred in the early hours of June 21, 2014. Garcia, who the woman did not know, approached her and forced her into her apartment on Spruce Street where he sexually assaulted her.
Garcia then left, but would return shortly after to sexually assault her once more. Police were able to track Garcia using the woman’s phone which he had stolen from her that night.
“Milton Garcia does not belong on Philadelphia’s streets and, as a result of today’s sentencing he won’t be anymore,” said District Attorney Seth Williams.
Nutter would go on to change the city’s ICE policy in his administration’s eleventh hour. The changes allowed cooperation between local police and ICE in the case of those convicted of first-degree felonies amongst other things. Mayor Jim Kenney restored the original ICE policy on his first day in office.