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Motion filed to remove judge ahead of ruling

August 28, 2018

The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office accuses a state district judge of bias in a motion seeking to remove her from ruling on an expunction petition in the case of a man accused of sexually assaulting a minor.

During a tense Thursday morning hearing, Assistant District Attorney Samuel Katz handed 445th state District Judge Gloria Rincones a motion to recuse herself after Rincones demanded that Assistant District Attorney Brandy Bailey tell her whether the DA’s Office intended to reindict Juan Garcia, who was charged with continual sexual assault of a child and indecency with a child-sexual contact in 2016.

“I am not going to recuse myself,” Rincones said, before ordering Katz, who provided the judge with a copy of the motion, to electronically file the motion and declining to hear his argument on the motion in open court.

Those charges, however, were dismissed in October 2017 because the District Attorney’s Office was waiting on DNA testing and prosecutors were not allowed any more continuances in that criminal case. The motion to dismiss plainly states that the DA’s office reserves the right to reindict Garcia.

Garcia’s attorney filed the petition for expunction in March, citing the dismissal as a reason to remove the criminal case from court and law enforcement records.

It turns out that Rincones, who prior to being elected to the bench worked as a family law attorney, has intimate knowledge of the allegations against Garcia, as she was appointed in 2011 and 2015 to represent the minor in a parental separation case and in the sexual assault case.

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

A more complete version of this story is available on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com

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