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Mercado sentenced after plea
MONROE - A 19-year-old sentenced last week for groping a preteen girl and exposing himself to her is ordered to spend six months on electronic monitoring and four years on probation, but he won't have to enter the state's Sex Offender Registry.

Anthony Daniel Mercado, Monticello, was sentenced March 22 in Green County Circuit Court on two Class I felony convictions of exposing genitals to a child. He pleaded no contest to the charges in January. Two related felonies were dismissed as part of a plea deal, including a Class B felony charge of first-degree sexual assault involving sexual contact with a child younger than 13.

Mercado is eligible to serve his six-month jail sentence at home on electronic monitoring. He's also eligible for Huber work-release privileges. His work release is authorized to include alcohol and drug counseling as well as medical care and treatment.

Conditions of his probation include full-time employment or school, no contact with the victim or her residence and no contact with minors without his agent's prior approval. He's ordered to complete a sex offender treatment assessment, follow through with all recommended treatment and comply with any polygraph testing.

According to court records, no Sex Offender Registry was requested or ordered in Mercado's case.

The case stems from an incident in 2016, when Mercado was 17.

According to the criminal complaint, the preteen girl said she was sleeping when Mercado, genitals exposed, pulled her shorts and underwear down and attempted to grope her.

"She yelled at him," according to the criminal complaint. In response, Mercado retreated and locked himself in the residence's bathroom.

The girl told an investigator that Mercado had not attempted to sexually assault her before or after the incident, although he had, on occasion, watched her and another girl in bed and touched their legs.

When police questioned Mercado, he admitted that everything happened as the girl described.

State court records show no prior criminal history for Mercado.