Teacher at a Florida based private charter school is jailed for 40 years for raping 14 year-old student he groomed for sex
Joseph Mejia, was arrested after girl’s mother found explicit texts he’d sent her
Mejia, 39, raped the child at least four times, prosecutors said
Mejia who was a teacher at Gulf Coast Charter Academy South in Naples, Florida sent victim dozens of explicit messages
‘He pulled me out of school and tore me away from friends I’d grown to love. Everyone stood by him too. I was a wh**re. I was the one who’d had sex with a teacher,’ the 14-year-old told the court in her victim impact statement
Investigators combed through hordes of explicit texts sent between Mejia and the child, and deduced he’d raped teenager at least four times
Girl’s mom found sexts and contacted school, who called cops
A teacher at a private Charter school in Naples, has been jailed for 40 years for raping a 14 year-old student who made a statement his sentencing hearing, that he’d made her feel like a ‘wh**e’.
Joseph Mejia, 39, was hit with prison term of four decades at a court in Naples, Florida, on Monday after being convicted of four counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim between the ages of 12 and 16.
Investigators combed through hordes of explicit texts sent between Mejia and the child, and deduced he’d raped teenager at least four times.
He worked as a technology teacher at Gulf Coast Charter Academy South, but the school is not part of Collier County’s public schools.
The incident came to daylight in April of 2019 after the victim’s mother found sexually explicit messages exchanged between the teacher and her daughter.
The school immediately fired Mejia and contacted the local police department about the incident. He was then arrested.
Court documents showed the victim had trusted him ‘with her life’ and told of how Mejia was like a guidance counselor to her, before taking advantage of his position to abuse the girl.
Mejia and his victim exchanged thousands of sexually explicit images in April of 2019.
Investigation by authorities concluded that the suspect had raped the victim a minimum of four times around the county.
The victim made a public statement during the trial too.
‘Speaking up about Mejia raping me was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. It didn’t always seem that way though,’ she said.
‘He pulled me out of school and tore me away from friends I’d grown to love. Everyone stood by him too. I was a wh**re. I was the one who’d had sex with a teacher.’
Collier Circuit Judge Joseph Foster found Mejia guilty on four counts of lewd or lascivious battery engaging in sexual activity with a victim between the ages of 12 and 16
Joseph Mejia was heard saying he felt ‘Very regretful. I’ve never done anything like this before in my life … I plea for mercy in regards to my sentence’ during his trial.
Before sentencing, the victim read a nearly 5-minute victim impact statement before sentencing, detailing how Mejia gained her trust before turning their relationship sexual
The sheer volume of text messages and content was enough testimony for the judge to make a swift decision against pleas made by the suspect and his mother.
WINK News reported Mejia’s mother saying ‘God says forgive us! If you want to be forgiven.’
He was also heard saying he felt ‘Very regretful. I’ve never done anything like this before in my life … I plea for mercy in regards to my sentence.’
Collier County Circuit Judge Joseph Foster gave them no chance to prevent him from announcing his verdict though.
‘Forgiveness is between God and your son and God and the victim and her family and that’s not for me to grant or deny in any way shape or form in this courtroom,’ He said.
Mejia was found guilty of four counts of lewd or lascivious battery after a five-day jury trial. Each count equals to twenty years in jail which means he will have to serve 40 years in prison.
In Florida, sexual intercourse with someone who is younger than the age of consent – 18 – is considered statutory rape.
Mejia was also ordered no to have any sort of contract with either the victim or her family.