A U.S. Army soldier traveled over a thousand miles to a 14-year-old girl in Maine and took her away from home — twice, federal prosecutors said. He's accused of doing so to engage in sex acts with her.
Christopher Meza was 20 and stationed at Fort Hood in Texas when he met the then-13-year-old on an online gaming platform and started messaging her over the social platform Discord in late 2020 and in early 2021, according to court documents.
Their messages and video chats “became increasingly sexual,” and they discussed getting married and living together in Texas, a government trial brief says.
Before Meza, who is now 22, is accused of taking the girl away from Maine on two separate occasions, he suggested the teen should go by a different name, lie about her age to make their “relationship more socially acceptable” and even discussed becoming her legal guardian, according to prosecutors.
After a two-day trial, a jury on Nov. 1 found the former soldier guilty of one count of enticement of a child, two counts of traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and two counts of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maine announced in a news release.
James Nixon, a federal defender representing Meza, declined a request for comment from McClatchy News on Nov. 2.
In a trial brief submitted by Nixon on behalf…