Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plant City choir founder accused of having sex with child

Joseph G. Mendolia is accused of having sex with a child he met in St. Petersburg.

Joseph G. Mendolia is accused of having sex with a child he met in St. Petersburg.

PLANT CITY — A 25-year-old Plant City man is accused of having sex with a child after posing as a woman named Amanda in an online chat, authorities say.

Joseph Gerald Mendolia was arrested Tuesday morning on three counts of lewd and lascivious battery.

State investigators believe he traveled to St. Petersburg to meet the child in March.

Mendolia is founder of the Plant City Community Choir, a nonprofit performance choir he started in 2008. It meets at the First Presbyterian Church of Plant City, according to its website.

On its website and Facebook page, the choir announced Tuesday night its board of directors had held an emergency meeting. "The vote of the Board was unanimous and for the sake of the choir, Joseph Mendolia has been removed as the Executive and Artistic Director of the choir effective immediately," its Facebook page said.

Mendolia also used to work with the University of South Florida's music program, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. A USF spokeswoman said he was employed at the School of Music from August 2010 to August 2012 as an office assistant, but she did not have details of his duties there.

On his Facebook page, Mendolia wrote that he had worked at the Walt Disney World resort from 2006 to 2009.

He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail. Records show he was being held there Tuesday night on $20,000 bail for each of the felony charges.

Investigators are looking to talk to anyone else who may have information about Mendolia. They can call FDLE Special Agent Al Danna at (813) 878-7384 or St. Petersburg police Detective Kenny Sharp at (727) 893-4297.

Plant City choir founder accused of having sex with child 07/16/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 10:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

  2. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.
  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 26-July 2.


    Vans Warped Tour: The festival returns Saturday to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, featuring shock-metal icons Gwar, hardcore punks Sick Of It All, ska band Save Ferris and indie-pop group Never Shout Never ($39.50-$49.50). vanswarpedtour. …

    Crowd for the Motionless in White band at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour at Vinoy Park, Friday, July 25, 2014.  CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times
  4. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.


    DETROIT — Drowning in a sea of lawsuits and recall costs, Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. is expected to seek bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the United States today.

  5. AP: Rick Scott to name Jimmy Patronis CFO on Monday


    From the AP's Gary Fineout:

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott is turning to a long-time political ally and former north Florida legislator to take over one of the top elected jobs in state government. 

    Then state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City Beach, left, and Gov. Rick Scott, tour downtown Panama City, Fla. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Scott will name Patronis CFO on Monday.