General Crime

* Erick Mendoza of Salinas pleaded guilty to two counts of forcible lewd acts on a child under 14

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A church youth counselor pleaded guilty Thursday to molesting an 11-year-old girl at church, according to prosecutor Cristina Johnson. Erick Mendoza, 21, of Salinas, pleaded guilty to two counts of  forcible lewd acts on a child under 14. He will be sentenced on Sept. 9 to 12 years in prison. Mendoza was arrested following a November 2009 incident at Nueva Vida Pentecostal Church in Salinas, where an 11-year-old girl told police he had molested her, Johnson said. The girl and a friend were helping Mendoza clean the church prior to a wedding. When the friend left, Mendoza sexually assaulted her, Johnson said.
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