Eric Mejia-Gonzales is going to jail.
The 30-year-old father of five recently underwent surgery for a kidney problem, his sentencing date has been delayed several times over the months. Today Judge Michelle Fuerst told him he would spend the next 12 months behind bars for providing sexual services to the 15-year-old in 2018.
Mejia-Gonzales pleaded guilty in December before facing trial.
The court heard the girl, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was a high school student in July 2018 when Mejia-Gonzales, 30, learned she needed the money and put her down. working in the sex trade; selling her to men in an old downtown motel. She told him she was 20.
The court heard the young woman worked for Mejia-Gonzales for three weeks and saw at least four clients, collecting $800 on her first night.
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While making her sentencing decision, Judge Fuerst said Mejia-Gonzales gave her clothes and drugs and sold her sexual services through a Barrie escort website to clients. Mejia-Gonzales kept most of the money for himself while giving him cocaine and money for food.
He was released on bail shortly after his arrest in September 2018, living at his parents’ home in Toronto.
The Crown asked for an 18-month sentence behind bars. The defense wanted twelve months and one year probation.
Mejia-Gonzales, the court heard, had previous convictions for aggravated assault and weapons offenses and was on parole at the time of his arrest four years ago.
The young woman, Judge Fuerst read, suffers from deep depression and anxiety and, in a letter to the court, said her life had come to a halt.
Upon his release, Mejia-Gonzales will be on probation for three years and will be ordered to follow the advice of his probation officer.