A former San Mateo County social worker who oversaw the cases of East Palo Alto children was sentenced to nine years in prison on Tuesday, April 12, the San Mateo County District Attorney's office said.
Manuel Anton Sedillo-Messer, 39, faced 30 felony charges for engaging in sexual acts with three underage girls who were under his supervision. He had agreed to a nine-year prison term on five felony counts related to the first two victims. In addition to serving prison time, he will have to register as a sex offender, Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said.
Mr. Sedillo-Messer was assigned to the family of the first victim in 2011 and became friendly with the girl, culminating in a sexual relationship for one month in the summer of 2014, according to the DA's office.
That same July, he allegedly took the second victim to the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose and engaged in sexual relations with her. One of the first two victims eventually reported the abuse to her mother, who notified police, according to the DA's office.
He also allegedly started molesting the third victim, who was in his caseload, when she was 16. The abuse continued until her 18th birthday, when she was released from the child-welfare system, according to police and court documents.
A civil lawsuit was filed on June 11, 2015, against Mr. Sedillo-Messer on behalf of the first victim by her court-appointed guardian, according to San Mateo County Superior Court documents. San Mateo County and others in the county's employ are also named as defendants in the lawsuit, which alleges breach of mandatory duty and negligent hiring, retention supervision and training.