A California dad pleaded guilty to charges he drugged, sexually assaulted, and killed his teenage daughter before burying her in the family’s backyard, People magazine reported.
The guilty plea comes after Mark Edward Mesiti, 49, reportedly confessed to the horrific crime and other misdeeds against minor girls. The plea cut short Mesiti’s elaborate murder trial, in which his defense had argued that his daughter had died from a drug addiction.
His daughter, Alycia, went missing in August 2007, and her remains weren’t located until nearly two years later, when investigators dug up the backyard behind Mesiti’s former rental home. Mesiti was living in the house at the time of his daughter’s disappearance.
An autopsy performed on Alycia found she died from a drug cocktail including opiates, morphine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine.
Prosecutors alleged that Mesiti was operating a meth lab after Alycia’s remains were found, and during a search of his property also found extensive homemade child pornography.
“Hundreds of those images showed Mesiti’s daughter being sexually assaulted while she was obviously unconscious,” said the Stanislaus County District Attorney. “Videos also showed the defendant setting up a hidden camera in the bedroom of an 8-year-old girl who lived in the apartment with him and his girlfriend at the time. Other videos and images showed a 16-year-old female Mesiti had befriended being sexually abused.”
Mesiti will face life in prison. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty in the case, but agreed instead to life in prison without parole after Mesiti pled guilty to all charges. As part of the deal, Mesiti also confessed to the crimes in court.
“Mesiti told the court he committed rape, sodomy, oral copulation, digital penetration and child molestation involving his daughter, Alycia, many times over several different occasions,” the prosecutor’s office said. “He admitted having given Alycia drugs on each occasion to make her unable to resist his attacks. Mesiti also admitted that his administration of those drugs caused Alycia’s death.”
“Finally, Mesiti admitted taking many sexually explicit photographs of his daughter Alycia and two other minors under 18 years old,” the statement continued. “He also said he molested the two other minors while he lived in Los Angeles.”
His sentencing is scheduled for November 28.
[Image: Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office]