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Henry teen charged with child molestation

Henry County Police say a Locust Grove teenager charged with child molestation played "strip blackjack" with the 14-year-old alleged victim.

Joshua Lee Mendoza, 19, is charged with child molestation. He appeared in Henry County Magistrate Court Thursday, represented by the Public Defender's Office.

He was released from the Henry County Jail Thursday, on $10,000 bond.

The alleged incidents reportedly took place between Nov. 1, 2009, and Dec. 10, 2009, at the suspect's home, according to Henry County Police Capt. Jason Bolton.

"The victim reported on two occasions ... that the suspect picked her up and brought her to his home," Bolton said. "While there, they played strip blackjack which resulted in both becoming naked. This led to other inappropriate acts occurring between the two."

Bolton added that the alleged victim in the case is a 14-year-old female. "The victim's parents contacted police upon learning of the incidents," Bolton said.

An arrest warrant was issued for Mendoza on Wednesday, and he was apprehended by Henry County sheriff's deputies the same day, according to records from the jail.

Henry County Magistrate Judge Martin Jones reset a preliminary hearing in the case for April 30.

-- Jason A. Smith