By JACOB LOPEZ
A former San Benito CISD police officer on Monday pled guilty to injury to a child, according to Melissa Landín, public information officer for the office of Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz.
Joe Mendez was accused in February of assaulting a 15-year-old female student while serving as an officer for the SBCISD Police Department. Mendez, who has since been terminated from the district, received 10 years as part of a deferred adjudication plea deal in which the defendant is required to make an on-the-record apology to the victim and her mother as well as pay $2,000 toward the victim’s counseling.
Furthermore, Mendez must also take anger management classes.
Surveillance video of the incident allegedly showed Mendez lifting the teen from her desk and slamming her face-first onto its flat surface. The incident reportedly caused injury and bleeding. Evidence, including the video, was handed over to the Texas Rangers for investigation.
One of Mendez’s indictments alleged “the mistreatment of an individual with defendant’s hands and causing that individual to strike her head on a desk while acting under the color of his employment as a San Benito Consolidated Independent School District police officer.”
The other indictment stated that Mendez faced “injury to a child with intentional bodily injury.”