Child molester receives 3+ years in prison

2013-05-14T00:00:00Z 2013-05-14T13:01:46Z Child molester receives 3+ years in prisonVeronica M. Cruz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

A 30-year-old man who pleaded guilty to molesting two girls inside stores in two separate incidents was sentenced to more than three years in prison Monday.

Christian Mercado-Velez, 30, was also placed on lifetime probation once he's released from prison. Mercado-Velez, who was born in Mexico, will be deported after serving his 3 1/2-year prison sentence and could face additional prison time if he illegally re-enters the country.

In July 2011, a 9-year-old girl told police a man pinned her against a shelf in an aisle of a toy store in the 4500 block of North Oracle Road, according to court documents. The man began rubbing himself against the girl, she told police.

Eight days later, a 7-year-old girl reported that a man touched her inappropriately in another store in the 3900 block of North Flowing Wells Road.

Police released information about the man to the media, and a few days later a tipster called police.

Mercado-Velez was arrested and indicted on two counts of molestation of child and one count of aggravated assault of a minor, for another incident involving a 9-year-old girl.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of molestation in February.

Mercado-Velez was sentenced by Pima County Superior Court Judge Deborah Bernini.

Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at or at 573-4224.

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