“A 38-year-old Taunton man was convicted by a jury in Taunton District Court last week of digitally raping and molesting his girlfriend’s pre-teen daughter and received the maximum penalty allowed by law in the district court level, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.
Joel Carrion Mercado was convicted by a Jury of Six after a two-day trial of two counts of rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. The jury deliberated for about two-and-a-half hours before returning its guilty verdicts. Judge Daniel Hourihan immediately sentenced the defendant to the maximum two-and-a-half years in the House of Corrections and placed him on supervised probation for an additional three years. The defendant must register as a sex offenders and have no contact with the victim.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Abbey Barr.
The young victim was the Commonwealth’s sole witness in the case. During her testimony, she detailed two incidents in late 2020 when the defendant entered her bedroom late at night while she was sleeping, pulled down her pants and digitally raped her. She also testified to at least two other incident of molestation in 2021 with a very similar pattern of behavior involving the defendant creeping into her bedroom late at night.
Eventually, the young girl worked up the courage to tell a friend that the man she viewed as “a second father” had been molesting her. That friend told her father about what the victim had confided to her, at which point the friend’s father informed the victim’s biological father about it. The victim’s biological father immediately reported the matter to Taunton Police.
“I am pleased the jury found the defendant accountable for repeatedly molesting the young victim. Unfortunately had had access to the girl due to a relationship with the mother which left him alone with the girl at night. I commend the young victim for her courage in coming forward and taking part in the prosecution, which is a difficult ordeal for anyone, let alone a young victim,” District Attorney Quinn said.”