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Barrie man sentenced to one year in jail for prostitution of teen

Eric Mejia-Gonzales is heading to jail.

The 30-year-old father of five recently had surgery for a kidney issue, his sentencing date was delayed several times over months. Today, Justice Michelle Fuerst told him he will spend the next 12 months behind bars for procuring the 15-year-old for sexual services in 2018

Mejia-Gonzales pleaded guilty in December before heading to trial.

The court heard the girl, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was a high school student back in July 2018 when Mejia-Gonzales, 30, heard she needed money and put her to work in the sex trade; selling her to men at a former 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 her first night.

Related Story: Barrie father of 5 remains out on bail after pleading guilty to trafficking high school girl

While delivering her sentencing decision, Justice 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 her cocaine and money for food.

He's been out on bail since shortly after his arrest in September 2018, living at his parent's home in Toronto.

The Crown sought a sentence of 18 months behind bars. The defence wanted twelve months and a year on probation.

Mejia-Gonzales, the court heard, had two prior convictions for aggravated assault and weapons offences and was out on parole at the time of his arrest four years ago.

The young woman, Justice Fuerst read, suffers from deep depression and anxiety and, in a letter to the court, said her life has stopped.

Upon his release, Mejia-Gonzales will be on probation for three years and is ordered to complete counselling as directed by his probation officer. Top Stories

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