NJ Lyft Driver Who Sexually Assaulted Minor Passenger Convicted
PROSPECT PARK — A ride-share driver from Morris County has been convicted of sexual assault for having sex with a juvenile who had requested a ride.
Julio Mejia, 43, of Wharton was convicted by a jury on Wednesday, the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office said.
He was found guilty of second-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, third-degree child endangerment, and second-degree child luring.
Sexual assault in ride-share vehicle
Mejia first picked up the victim in Prospect Park on Aug. 30, 2019, according to prosecutors. She had requested a ride through the Lyft app.
The female victim was between the ages of 13 and 16 but authorities did not state her exact age.
Mejia had sex with the young girl in his car after the ride, authorities said.
They then kept in touch through texting for several weeks.
Mejia had sex with the victim at least one more time before Prospect Park police received a report of the sexual assault of a minor on Nov. 19, 2019. Investigators spoke to several witnesses before arresting him, authorities said.
He was 39 years old and an active member of the armed services at the time of his arrest.
Mejia faces up to 26.5 years in state prison. His sentencing is set for Feb. 9. He will be held in Passaic County Jail until then.