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Police: Teen accused of attacking teacher told her he was ‘getting revenge’

Updated April 12, 2022 - 2:13 pm

A teenager accused of beating and sexually assaulting his teacher last week strangled and knocked her unconscious multiple times after initially meeting to ask about grades, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report released Tuesday.

Jonathan Eluterio Martinez Garcia, 16, is facing a total of 15 charges, including four counts of attempted murder, seven counts of sex-crime-related battery, and counts of sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery and burglary, records show. Las Vegas police have said that the teenager beat and sexually assaulted an Eldorado High School teacher after he had gone to a classroom to discuss his grades.

Because of the severity of the charges, Martinez Garcia was automatically charged as an adult, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.

“This kind of behavior will not be accepted, our teachers and our school administrators and our staffers need to be safe in our schools,” Wolfson said following Tuesday’s hearing. “Part of this is sending a message that this kind of violence is not going to be tolerated.”

A judge on Tuesday ordered a competency evaluation.

According to the arrest report, Martinez Garcia came to the classroom and choked her with a “rope or string,” then slammed her head against the table, knocking her unconscious. The teacher told police she asked Martinez Garcia why he was assaulting her and he responded that he “didn’t like teachers” and was “getting revenge.”

He then choked her unconscious a second time, according to the report, and she woke up her pants and underwear were pulled down. Martinez Garcia then poured something on her and said he wanted to “set something on fire.” He then moved a shelf on top of her and sat on top of it.

“That was a lot, I for sure thought I was done at that point,” she told police. He then tried to cut her wrist before taking a call from his mother, she said.

“Can’t you just die already, hurry up,” he told her, according to the arrest report.

In an interview with detectives, Martinez Garcia initially said he “blacked out” and didn’t remember anything after going to discuss his grades with the teacher. Later, he said he remembered and that he tried to choke her with a computer cable. He also told police that he’d raped her.

“I don’t know why I attacked her, she was good to me,” he told police.

He said he then took her keys and left the school before he was arrested later that day.

While speaking with reporters, Wolfson referenced a March press conference he attended where Clark County School District officials announced new disciplinary actions in response to recent violence on school campuses. He said there “have to be consequences” for incidents like the alleged Eldorado High School attack.

Martinez Garcia’s defense attorney, Paul Adras, said that while he understands Wolfson’s desire to send a message about school violence, he doesn’t believe that “trying this case in the media at the outset is in anyone’s best interest.”

“I know the community is very upset about it, and I would hope that everybody would take a step back and let the process unfold fairly,” Adras said. “And I trust, and I believe, that he would not be treated unfairly just to be made an example of.”

During Martinez Garcia’s hearing, Adras asked Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure to order a mental health evaluation to determine the teenager’s competency.

“I will enter a finding that doubt has arisen as to the competence of Mr. Garcia, and I will order these proceedings suspended until that questions is confirmed,” Bonaventure said.

Wolfson said the sexual assault charge carries a potential sentence of life in prison for the 16-year-old.

“Some of the sentences do carry a potential life imprisonment, but we’re not there yet,” he said. “This is the beginning of the case. This juvenile has just been accused of a number of crimes, and we’re going to have to let the process work.”

Wolfson declined to say if Martinez Garcia has any juvenile criminal history.

The teenager was arrested about 1 mile away from the school and booked into the Clark County Detention Center, initially on only six charges. On Monday, Wolfson said his office reviewed the case and decided to ultimately charge Martinez Garcia with 15 counts. Of the four attempted murder counts, one is for attempted murder with a charging cord and one is for attempted murder with scissors, Wolfson said.

Martinez Garcia remained in jail on Tuesday with a $500,000 bail. He was ordered to appear in court again on May 6.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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