LANCASTER, Pa. — A 53-year-old North Carolina man was recently convicted by a Lancaster County jury on all charges stemming from the abuse of four victims at two different homes in Lancaster between 2007 and 2009, the county's District Attorney's Office said Wednesday.
Angel Merced, of Mecklenburg, was convicted of three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of aggravated indecent assault, four counts of indecent assault, and four counts of corruption of minors following a three-day trial last week, the DA's Office said.
According to testimony, police began investigating Merced in Aug. 2018, when Lancaster Police Detective Jessica Higgins got a report of alleged sexual abuse. One of the victims had written in a school notebook about being sexually abused, which an adult read and reported.
The four victims ranged in age from 6 to 12, prosecutors said.
In his closing argument, prosecuting Assistant District Attorney Fritz Haverstick said, “the difference between justice and getting away with sexually abusing four little girls — a teenager’s school notebook and a police officer who was dedicated enough, who cared enough to put in the work, to do it the right way.”
Higgins spoke with each of the victims on multiple occasions and filed charges, which were approved by ADA Haverstick in 2020.
Lancaster County Judge Dennis Reinaker presided over the trial and will determine a sentence at a later date.
The jury returned its verdict after less than two hours of deliberations.