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Woman convicted of sex trafficking denied new trial; appeal filed
Sentence reduced by 20 years
Maria Mercedes Vasquez-Quiroz

A Gainesville woman convicted last year of child sex trafficking and other charges was denied a new trial, according to court documents.

Maria Mercedes Vasquez-Quiroz was convicted in April 2015 with Digno de Jesus Mejia of sex trafficking, rape, child molestation and other charges. Both were given life sentences.

Vasquez-Quiroz had a hearing on her new trial motions Dec. 29, and Superior Court Judge Jason Deal denied the motion on Dec. 31.

Deal originally sentenced Vasquez-Quiroz to life plus 90 years with 90 years to be served in prison.

Through attorney Debra Kay Jefferson, Vasquez-Quiroz gave notice Jan. 13 of an appeal to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Jefferson sought to have the sentence corrected for Quiroz.

“Two of the charges that she was indicted on and sentenced to should not actually merge, and there shouldn’t have been additional punishment for conviction for two crimes that were essentially the same evidence,” she said.

Deal granted the correction and changed the sentence to life plus 70 years.The offenses Vasquez-Quiroz was convicted of were rape, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, first-degree child cruelty, sex trafficking, aggravated sodomy and aggravated child molestation.

“In her case, there may be some additional arguments that I may have when I write the brief for the Court of Appeals,” Jefferson said.