- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) - A former South Texas police officer faces up to 20 years in prison for having sex with a 16-year-old girl he met while on patrol.

Erasmo Mata Jr. of Mercedes was convicted Wednesday of one count of sexual assault of a child. The 26-year-old Mata was acquitted of another sexual assault charge.

Jurors in Edinburg will decide the penalty for Mata, who was fired as a Pharr police officer amid the investigation going back to 2013. Prosecutors say Mata met the girl while on patrol at an apartment complex and asked for her phone number.

The girl’s family discovered the relationship when her mother came home early and found Mata running out of their apartment.

Mata’s bond was revoked following his conviction.

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