East Boston man sentenced for molestation of sleeping child

“I was terrified. I was crying and he wouldn’t let me leave."

An East Boston man was sentenced to state prison Friday after he was convicted of molesting a child who was asleep at a birthday party last year, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Prosecutors said Celvyn Mejia, 26, was the guest at a child’s birthday party in East Boston on March 4, 2017, when he entered a bedroom, found a sleeping boy, and inappropriately touched him.

Mejia was convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child last week and sentenced Friday to three to five years in prison by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Robert Tochka, the district attorney’s office wrote in a press release emailed to Boston.com.

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Jurors heard over three days of testimony in the case against Mejia, who officials said attended the party at an East Boston apartment and stayed afterward as adults socialized.

Children were asleep in one of the apartment’s bedrooms during the early hours of March 5 when one boy awoke to find “a highly intoxicated Mejia on top of him and touching him inappropriately,” the release said.

The boy and Mejia did not know each other, prosecutors said.

Another adult entered the room after hearing the child crying, and others called 911, according to officials. They tried to prevent Mejia from fleeing the scene, but he was able to leave the apartment before he was later arrested.

“I was terrified. I was crying and he wouldn’t let me leave. … This wasn’t fair. Why me? Why did I deserve this?” the boy wrote in a statement read aloud in court by Assistant District Attorney Alissa Goldhaber Friday. “When I spoke up about this, I felt good and brave. My #1 goal was to make sure this would never happen to anyone else.”

Jurors acquitted Mejia of assault with intent to rape, officials said.

“Cases like this can be among the most challenging we deal with as prosecutors,” Suffolk County District Attorney John Pappas said in a statement. “But as difficult as they are for us, they’re even more difficult for the children who live through these events and testify before a courtroom full of strangers about the intimate details of their trauma. I’m proud of the victim for his strength and resilience, and I’m grateful to my staff who worked to hold his abuser accountable.”