The defendant in a sordid case of sexual abuse involving a seven-year-old girl in Eatontown faces 25 years to life in prison, following his Thursday conviction.

Edgar Mejia, 54, of Long Branch, was found guilty of a first-degree charge fo aggravated sexual assault and a third-degree count of endangering the welfare of a child, according to the office of Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni.

Mejia has a sentencing date of March 17, 2017. Under terms of the Jessica Lunsford Act, he will be required to serve at least 25 years before parole eligibility, authorities said.

The child endangerment charge entails a sentence of three to five years, plus registration as a sex offender and lifetime parole supervision, under terms of Megan's Law.

Mejia was arrested July 21, 2014. Prior to that, during July, the girl told her mother that while she was at a relative's house and alone in a bedroom with Mejia, he touched her intimate parts and penetrated her sexually. Hospital examination bore out her claim, authorities said.

Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Ellyn Rajfer headed the State's case. Mejia was represented by attorney Ryan Moriarty of Freehold.

Sign Up For The WOBM Newsletter