Charges: Mark Edward Mesiti, 43, is accused of raping and murdering his 14-year-old daughter Alycia
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a California man accused to raping and killing his 14-year-old-daughter before burying her body in the backyard of their home.
Mark Edward Mesiti, 44, allegedly drugged and sexually abused his daughter Alycia before killing her in August 2006, just months after a judge granted him custody of his daughter and son, according to court documents.
The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office said it is seeking the death penalty because of a ‘special enhancement’ to charges against Mr Mesiti. Those charges accuse Mesiti of committing murder ‘before or during’ rape, sodomy and oral copulation, according to court documents.
Prosecutor Annette Rees made the announcement Monday during a pretrial hearing.
Mesiti also faces additional charges of molesting two other girls, one age 8 and the other while she was 16 and 17, according to prosecutors.
Mesiti committed most of the sexual assaults against his daughter while she was drugged, sometimes with anesthesia, according to criminal complaint documents obtained by the Modesto Bee.
The documents claim Mesiti molested Alycia from July 2005 through May 2006.
A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge awarded Mesiti custody of Alycia and her brother despite Mesiti’s substantial criminal history.
Alycia Mesiti was 14 when she disappeared from her Ceres, California home
Mesiti, records show, had committed several federal and state crimes, including bank fraud and drunk driving. He had also been charged with domestic violence and ordered to attend anger-management classes, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Alycia disappeared from her home in Ceres, California in August 2006. At the time Mr Mesiti told police investigators that his daughter had vanished after setting off on a camping trip with some friends and her pet Chihuahua.
The case was elevated from a disappearance to a homicide investigation in 2009 only after the retirement of a Ceres detective who had been assigned to the case. At that point Ceres police officials ordered a new round of interviews in the case.
Shortly afterwards, police officials obtained a search warrant for Mr Mesiti’s former home. Alycia’s body was found in a grave beneath the backyard by cadaver-sniffing dogs. Three years had passed since her disappearance.
Only days after finding Alycia’s body, police authorities obtained a search warrant for Mesiti’s Los Angeles apartment and found a meth lab.
Mesiti was arrested and later convicted of manufacturing methamphetamine.
Alycia and her brother lived with Mesiti for nine months before she disappeared, despite repeated warnings filed by police authorities and child welfare workers.
Court appointed lawyers recommended only temporary placement with Mesiti due to ‘sufficient issues and risks to these minors,’ the Modesto Bee reports.
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