UPDATE: Former Conneaut councilman sentenced to 18 years after sexually assaulting several teens

Phillip Garcia must now also register as a sex offender

Former Conneaut councilman sentenced to 18 years after sexually assaulting several teens

ASHTABULA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Former Conneaut Councilman Phillip Garcia faced an Ashtabula County judge Wednesday regarding numerous sex crimes involving multiple teenagers.

Garcia was sentenced to 18 years in prison, and he must register as a sex offender.

Garcia’s lawyer, Reid Yoder, said he plans to file an appeal on Thursday.

Garcia was handcuffed inside the courtroom and taken straight to jail. He did not respond to questions seeking comment.

In May, Garcia pleaded guilty to four counts of compelling prostitution and seven counts of sexual imposition for raping teenagers.

During Wednesday’s court hearing, Garcia’s attorney filed a motion to withdraw the guilty plea, citing anxiety and depression.

The Ashtabula County judge denied Garcia’s request.

Investigators arrested Garcia in 2018, accusing him of raping five teenagers between 1997 and 2005. All of the victims were between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of the crimes.

According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, four of the alleged victims were employees of Phil’s Catering, the Ashtabula catering business owned by Garcia.

The former council member also officiated youth sports.

Ashtabula County officials remain shocked in the wake of bombshell allegations against one of their own. Phillip Garcia has been charged with sexually assaulting minors, prostitution and more.

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.