IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — An eastern Idaho man has been sentenced to five to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a minor after saying he was following God’s will.

The Post Register reports 7th District Judge Joel Tingey found 48-year-old Michael Mercado guilty of rape where the victim is 16 or 17 years old and issued a sentence Monday.

Police arrested Mercado earlier this year after his relationship with a then 17-year-old teenage girl was discovered by his ex-wife.

According to the victim’s impact statement, Mercado first took an interest in the victim when she was 13 and eventually told her God wanted them to be married. She says she was too scared to say no to Mercado.

John Thomas, Mercado’s attorney, countered his client needed treatment for sex addiction by pointing out that Mercado had four marriages fail because of cheating.


Information from: Post Register, http://www.postregister.com