Shane Garrett Horning, the 29-year-old former youth pastor at Santa Margarita Methodist Church in Rancho Santa Margarita, was sentenced today to a year in jail--essentially time served--for having an unlawful sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female parishioner and sending sexual text messages to her 15-year-old sister. Horning, who has since relocated to San Jose, also received five years of formal probation.
Luis Antonio Mejia probably wishes he had Horning's lawyer.
As the pastor was learning his fate, Meija, 50, of Orange and a former longtime janitor at El Modena High School, was sentenced today to six years in state prison for sexually assaulting a special education student in his campus office after grooming her with gifts, money, candy, and cards.
Mejia pleaded guilty Dec. 1 to two felony counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of an incompetent victim, two felony counts of lewd acts upon a dependant person by a caretaker, two felony counts of sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor, and one misdemeanor count of child annoyance.
Prosecutors said that between Dec. 1, 2008, and April 30, 2009, he sexually assaulted the unidentified special education student multiple times in his office--after first grooming her with gifts, money, and candy. He exchanged written notes, "I love you" cards and more than 100 calls and text messages with the victim over a one-month period.
His reign of terror ended when a classmate found out about the assaults and told El Modena's principal.
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Horning pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to four felony counts of oral copulation with a minor for the 16-year-old and one felony count of attempted oral copulation of minor under 16 for the 15-year-old.
He met the older girl while working as a youth pastor at the church, and between January 2005 and September 2006, the then 25-year-old had the then-16-year-old come to his home on several occasions to give him oral.
Horning later moved to San Jose, and the 16-year-old did not disclose their previous relationship until she discovered he may have been preying on her younger sister, sending her explicit sexual text messages, including graphic statements about oral sex.
Big Sis told her parents, which led to Horning's arrest.