Man accused of catfishing, raping 14-year-old

Austin
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — An arrest warrant has been issued for an Austin man accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he encountered on Facebook while pretending to be a 17-year-old.

According to the warrant, the victim met the man who would turn out to be Edwin Mejia-Melgar, 30, through Facebook Messenger. Mejia-Melgar reportedly told the victim his name was “Bryant,” a 17-year-old high school student.

After getting to know the man on Facebook —  to the point that they were reportedly “in a relationship” — the victim reportedly “ran away” with Bryant, which resulted in him shoving her into his car right in front of her house, taking her to his home and forcing violent intercourse and later physical assault on her. 

The victim also stated to police that Mejia-Melgar made her drink from a glass of water which he had put something into, after which her body went numb and the man continued to sexually assault her. The victim returned home and eventually told her mother what had occured. Her mother also took her to a clinic where it was confirmed that she had contracted a sexually transmitted disease.

The relationship continued without being reported to police.

Austin police did not know of the occurence until March 29, when officers responded to a disturbance call at the victim’s home and found the victim and her mother arguing over what had transpired. Her mother had previously reported her as a runaway March 15. The victim pointed police to the Facebook profile and messages, but they did not have enough information to identify him.

The victim was arrested for family violence and was also committed to a psychiatric hospital after a forensic interview.

According to the warrant, the victim and Mejia-Melgar continued “dating” through April, but he reportedly continued aggresively communicating with her via several Facebook profiles and text messages. The victim told police Mejia-Melgar showed up to her house while she was alone and raped her.

The man’s identity remained a mystery until a detective was able to locate accounts under the name — and hidden through means of various number combinations — and was able to cross-reference messages there with ones on the victim’s phone. 

After results of a rape kit on the victim were released in September, male DNA was recovered and the case remained open, but unresolved, until November 2018, when a DNA hit from California was confirmed as a match — Edwin Mejia-Melgar. The man’s California mugshot matched his photos on Facebook.

Mejia-Melgar is accused of the offense of second degree sexual assault of a child and his bond is set at $30,000.

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