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Judge rules woman incompetent to stand trial in child sex trafficking case

Vasquez-Quiroz will undergo further evaluations and may stand trial in the future

POSTED: August 22, 2014 3:58 p.m.

Digno de Jesus Mejia

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A Gainesville woman accused of child molestation and rape involving a 4-year-old girl will not stand trial until she is further evaluated by mental health professionals.

After psychiatric evaluations, the court found in favor of Maria Mercedes Vasquez-Quiroz’s plea of mental incompetency to stand trial, according to an order signed Tuesday by Judge Kathlene Gosselin and filed Friday in Hall County Superior Court.

Vasquez-Quiroz was indicted in July 2013 for trafficking the girl to two men. She was charged with rape, aggravated child molestation, child molestation, first-degree child cruelty, enticing a child for indecent purposes, trafficking a person for sexual servitude and aggravated sodomy.

The alleged sex trafficking, conducted between December 2010 and 2012, also implicated Junior Alexander Delcid-Leon and Digno de Jesus Mejia, both of Gainesville.

Mejia was charged with child molestation, first-degree child cruelty, enticing a child for indecent purposes, trafficking of a person for sexual servitude, child molestation and rape.

Delcid-Leon was charged with child molestation, aggravated child molestation, first-degree child cruelty, aggravated sodomy and rape.

Both have a tentative court date of Sept. 22 following a Sept. 2 calendar call.

Vasquez-Quiroz will be transferred to the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and confined in a state facility that provides care and treatment for the mentally ill, according to the judgment.

When evaluated by a forensic psychologist, Vasquez-Quiroz’s actions appeared “very childlike,” and she had difficulty answering basic questions.

“As mentioned, she did present with difficulties in organizing her thoughts and responding in a relevant manner,” forensic psychologist Sam Perri wrote in his report. “It was difficult to assess her immediate, short-term or long-term memory as well as her intellectual functioning. However, some of this deficit is most likely related to having no formal education.”

Vasquez-Quiroz cannot read or write, and she did not demonstrate the cognitive abilities to defend her case with her attorney.

“I am rendering my opinion that she is presently not competent to assist her attorney in any future legal proceeding,” Perri wrote. “It is my opinion that through an intensive competency restoration program, Ms. Vasquez-Quiroz could be educated to the degree that she would be restored to competency.”

Within 90 days of entering the mental health facility, Vasquez-Quiroz will be evaluated to see if she could stand trial now or in the foreseeable future. The Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities may retain custody for up to nine months, according to the order.


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