SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida psychotherapist accused of molesting his 13-year-old patient claimed he did no such thing, and his loved ones also rose up to his defense.
Dr. Pedro Garcia stood in bond court, Thursday, dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit. He has been charged with child molestation and lewd and lascivious conduct.
The 67-year-old later told 7News he would never cross the line with his patients. “In court, it’s in court. You can show, you can talk, you can explain things that need to be, but by the media, no, because the patient, I need to respect the patient,” he said.
With his family standing by his side, Garcia reiterated his innocence. “I think I am not guilty,” he said.
“You are not guilty. You’re 100 percent innocent,” said his son, Pedro Garcia-Romo.
Maria Carmen Garcia, his wife, is certain her husband is telling the truth. “He’s my husband for 25 years, the best thing that has happened in my life,” she said. “He’s innocent. I’m sure he is innocent.”
Garcia-Romo described his father as a dedicated professional. “You know, he’s helped a lot of people. He works day and night,” he said.
According to Miami-Dade Police, Garcia groped his teenage patient on Tuesday.
“When a person goes to a professional person, you confide in them,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Daniel Ferrin. “You believe that they’re not going to harm you. You’re actually going to them to help you.”
According to the arrest report, the alleged victim said Garcia told her to lay down on a couch during a session in his Southwest Miami-Dade office.
The report states the patient told detectives Garcia “put two of his fingers on her lips and asked her if his fingers felt like her boyfriend’s kisses.”
The report further states the teen said the therapist “lifted her shirt up, exposing her stomach, and began rubbing it, asking her “if the touch reminded her of her boyfriend’s touch.”
As she tried to get away, the patient told police, Garcia “grabbed her, hugged her and attempted to kiss her on her mouth.”
Garcia said the patient’s claims stem from her mental state. “Her issues are clinical, that I think are connected with many factors that I can’t disclose,” he said.
The therapist said he cannot give many details because of patient privacy laws but said his accuser needs help.
Meanwhile, his loved ones are confident he will clear his name. “He’s innocent. He’s trying to help someone with a problem,” said Elena Garcia-Romo, Garcia’s daughter.
“[I’m] disappointed that my family has to deal with this stress at this time of our lives, but it happened,” said Garcia. “We need to solve the issue.”
Garcia has since bonded out of jail. He was ordered by the judge to stay away from his accuser.
The investigation remains ongoing. Police are urging other victims, if any, to come forward.
“Obviously, being a therapist, he might have other victims that have not come forward,” said Ferrin.
If you believe you may have been victimized by Garcia, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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