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Girl makes outcry of abuse at church

NORCROSS -- A Lawrenceville woman is jailed on aggravated sexual battery charges after a teen girl made an outcry that she'd been sexually abused for years at church, officials said.

Maria Mejia, 19, turned herself in at the Gwinnett County Jail on Thursday after warrants were issued for her arrest in December, authorities said. Mejia remains jailed without bond.

The alleged abuse came to light in September, when the 16-year-old girl told her mother and a psychiatrist that Mejia had abused her in the church they both attended, Iglesia de Cristo Church in Norcross, according to a Gwinnett police report.

The alleged victim claimed the abuse began when she was 4 years old and continued for about six years. The psychological trauma had manifested in the teen repeatedly "blacking out," and medical doctors advised the teen to see a psychiatrist, the mother told police.

A minister at the church did not return a request for comment Tuesday.

Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter said it wasn't clear how Mejia was allegedly abusing the girl for so long without being detected in church.