This headline barely touches upon what this father did to his daughter:
Alycia Mesiti was 14 years old in August 2006, enrolled to attend the year-old Central Valley High School in Ceres. But before classes began, her father and his girlfriend reported her as a runaway.
In March 2009, officers unearthed Alycia’s body in the back yard of the home the family rented in the 3500 block of Alexis Court in west Ceres.
Her father, Mark Edward Mesiti, was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail on Thursday afternoon on charges of murder with malice, one count of lewd and lascivious acts on a child, and one count of rape or sodomy.
Imagine giving this guy custody?!
Alycia and her older brother were placed in her father’s custody in November 2005, about the time the family moved to Ceres. In the previous seven years, Mesiti was convicted of bank fraud and drunken driving, and charged with domestic violence. He was ordered to attend anger-management classes and landed in prison after failing to attend court-ordered drug and alcohol treatment programs.
Now for some victim blaming:
But the children’s mother, Roberta Allen, had her own problems. She battled depression and a court investigator called her an unfit parent. There were reports of a suicide attempt and fights with the two children. She told a Mercury News reporter that she suffered years of persecution by Mesiti and had fled to other states and even to Canada, where she and the children lived in battered women’s shelters.
She said her husband could afford to hire an attorney in the custody battle, while her own responses were handwritten.
Typical ‘battered mothers losing custody’ scenario: He has a long list of problems, abuse. She’s considered depressed and unfit (which occurs to human beings after enduring years of abuse – it’s a symptom of domestic violence). He can afford an attorney, she can’t. As Steve Bardo from the Center for Judicial Excellence said last week on the Dr. Phil show – this country gives people accused of heinous crimes legal representation, yet throws battered women into court to fend for themselves.
And, sadly, this is a typical response to a protective mother:
Allen, a restaurant worker in 2009, said she called the Ceres police to say she didn’t believe her daughter had run away and instead should be classified as a missing person.
“The police stopped taking my calls,” she said in 2009. “They said, ‘She’ll come home.’ “