After greater than three years awaiting a sentence, the previous mayor of Guaynabo, Hector O’Neill Garcia, pleaded responsible this Wednesday as a part of a preliminary settlement within the case towards him for gender violence, sexual harassment and a violation of the Government Ethics Law.
In Room 404 of the Bayamón Court, who was mayor of Guaynabo for twenty-four years answered in a low voice “guilty”, when the choose Maria Trigo Ferraiuoli he requested the way it was declared.
The final result of the in depth judicial course of happens one week after O’Neill García will waive a jury trial. The disinsaculation of the jury had begun on November 1 and was scheduled to finish on December 10.
As a part of the preliminary settlement, a cost is maintained for violation of article 3.1 (mistreatment in a relationship) of the Law on Prevention and Intervention with Domestic Violence and a much less severe cost of sexual harassment at work.
Two prices have been reclassified: one for article 3.5 (sexual assault in a relationship) modified to article 3.1 of Law 54. In addition, article 2.2 for a violation of the Government Ethics Law (make the most of their place to acquire a profit sexual), it was reclassified to article 263 of the Penal Code.
These two much less severe crimes carry a prompt superb of $ 750 every.
According Miguel Colon Ortiz, of the Office of the Independent Special Prosecutor (Opfei), O’Neill “makes an allegation of guilt for a charge reclassified from Ethics to negligence in the performance of duty, which makes it impossible for Mr. O’Neill to hold public office again.”
In each severe crimes for violations of Law 54, a most sentence of three years is really useful. However, the previous mayor won’t should serve time in jail, as he would qualify for probation.
“That is why it is called a negotiation. In a negotiation, neither party gets everything it wants. Four years have gone by now and they have been able to see that the mental and psychological state of the victim has been worsening, “he said. Leticia Pabón Ortiz, from Opfei.
“We analyzed what was most convenient for the injured party in this case,” said Pabón Ortiz. “The vulnerability and the recommendation of the victim in this case was what weighed the most for us to reach this agreement,” added Colón Ortiz.
The pre-agreement between the parties also included that O’Neill García reimbursed the amount of $ 12,000 to Opfei to cover part of the expenses of the judicial agreement. The former mayor paid the sum with a check.
“Today this process ends for me”
O’Neill García, who looked crestfallen and answered Judge Trigo Ferraiuoli’s questions in a low voice, tried to evade the media as he left Room 404, pausing for only a few moments while he waited for the elevator.
“I am not going to answer any questions, I am just going to say the following. Today this process ends for me, but tomorrow other processes begin with many and many ”, mentioned the previous mayor, with out explaining what he was referring to.
For his part, the lawyer Harry Padilla was pleased with the preliminary agreement, since his client will not have to go to jail.
“All criminal cases are difficult, but the happiness of a lawyer is to be able to lend his arm to his client and say ‘let’s go and solve’ … There is nothing better for an applicant lawyer than his client to return to the home. And I am happy, because the reality is that Don Héctor returns home without any problem ”, argued the lawyer.
The case against O’Neill García began with 13 charges involving two women, but charges were dismissed and it was divided into two processes, one of which was dismissed. The trial was scheduled to begin on March 15.
The hearing to dictate sentence was scheduled for February 18, 2022.