FREEHOLD – A Shrewsbury man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, a year after he confessed to sexually assaulting seven different girls, all younger than 13, over a ten year span.

Victor Mejia-Salinas was sentenced on Friday by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Vincent N. Falcetano, who slammed the man’s status as a heart transplant recipient, saying that the life-saving organ was, essentially, wasted on the 47-year-old Mejia-Salinas.

“That heart belongs in someone else’s chest,” Falcetano said in court, as reported by the Asbury Park Press.

Mejia-Salinas pleaded guilty on Feb. 25, 2020 to two counts of first degree aggravated sexual assault, three counts of second degree sexual assault and two counts of third degree endangering the welfare of a child.

The charges stemmed from separate incidents in Red Bank, Shrewsbury and Wall Township between 2008 through 2011, and 2013 through 2018, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.

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In between the sexual assaults on his juvenile victims, Mejia-Salinas received the heart transplant in 2017, according to the same APP report.

Mejia-Salinas had been scheduled for sentencing in May 2020, but due to the pandemic, the proceeding was delayed until Friday.

In addition to his prison term, he will be required to register under Megan’s Law and will be under lifetime parole supervision.

He also could possibly face deportation, as the native of El Salvador has been in the U.S. illegally for 23 years, according to the judge on Friday and reported by Asbury Park Press.

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