People v. GarciaAnnotate this Case
Garcia, while staying as a guest in his sister-in-law’s home, forcibly raped and sodomized his 12-year-old niece. He was convicted of forcible sex crimes, including a forcible lewd act against a child under the age of 14 in the course of a first-degree burglary. The burglary finding led to a statutorily mandated sentence of life without parole under the “One Strike” law. Garcia argued that the burglary finding could not stand because he was an invited overnight guest in the home and bedroom where he forced himself on his young niece. The court of appeal affirmed. The burglary statute, Penal Code 459,1 reaches any entry into a home or a room within a home, so long as the person enters with the intent to commit a felony and without the authority to do so. Because we expect to be safe in our homes and with our invited guests, an invitee who preys on someone within our home is as dangerous and as heinous as the burglar who intrudes by picking the lock or climbing in the window.