Ceres man accused of killing daughter needs new attorney

06/09/2011 12:03 PM

06/09/2011 12:06 PM

A 43-year-old man accused of sexually abusing his teenage daughter, killing her and burying her body in the back yard of their Ceres home appeared briefly in court Thursday morning, but he did not submit a plea.

Stanislaus County Superior Court will have to find a new defense attorney for Mark Edward Mesiti. The public defender’s office, which was initially assigned to the case, cannot represent Mesiti due to a conflict of interest.

Judge John Freeland scheduled Mesiti to return to court on Monday morning for a continued arraignment hearing. Thursday’s court appearance lasted only a few minutes.

Mesiti is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 14-year-old daughter, Alycia Mesiti.

A special enhancement has been added to his charges, indicating he is accused of committing murder before or during rape, sodomy, oral copulation or rape by an instrument, according to a criminal complaint.

The enhancement makes Mesiti eligible for the death penalty. The district attorney’s office, however, has not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Mesiti is being held without bail at the Stanislaus County Jail.

He also faces 44 counts of sexually abusing his daughter, including rape, committing lewd acts upon a child, sexual penetration with a foreign object, sodomy, oral copulation and using a minor to pose or model sexual conduct.

The criminal complaint claims most of these sexual acts were committed while the girl was drugged, sometimes with anesthesia, so she could not resist.

Authorities believe the sexual abuse occurred from July 2005 through May 2006. The criminal complaint further claims Mesiti killed his daughter on or about Aug. 16, 2006.

Alycia’s body was discovered March 25, 2009 buried in the back yard of the Ceres home the family was renting. The family had moved out of the home by the time the teen’s body was discovered.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at (209) 578-2394.

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the Discussion

The Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service