Former Collier County teacher convicted of lewd or lascivious battery of a teen

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Joseph Mejia (Credit: CCSO booking photo)

A former teacher in Collier County was convicted Monday of exchanging sexually explicit texts and having sex with a 14-year-old student.

Joseph Mejia, 39, of Bonita Springs, was found guilty of four counts of lewd or lascivious battery after a five-day jury trial.

Mejia, a technology teacher at Gulf Coast Charter Academy in Naples, exchanged thousands of text messages, many of them sexually explicit, with a teen student. The April 2019 investigation also revealed he engaged in sexual activity with the student at least four times in different locations around Collier.

The arrest report stated Mejia went to the victim’s house when she stayed home sick from school and had sex in the living room. Before that, the report said Mejia picked the victim up and drove her to a dead-end street for sexual activity. The report even said they had a sexual interaction in the classroom.

The investigation began after the victim’s mother reported she had found sexually explicit text messages between her daughter and Mejia on her daughter’s phone.

Gulf Coast Charter immediately fired Mejia and alerted police.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 21. Each count carries a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Mejia remains in custody at the Naples Jail Center.

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