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Sex abuse trial delayed until Tuesday

A trial set to start Tuesday for a former school clinic receptionist accused of sexually abusing girls has been postponed until next week.

Court officials said problems with scheduling witnesses necessitated the delay in the trial of Luis Armando Mesta, 29, who faces six counts of first-degree sex abuse, and first- and second-degree sodomy charges. His trial has been rescheduled for March 13.

Mesta, of Medford, is charged with five counts of sex abuse linked to allegations that he molested several girls at the Kids Health Connection at Jackson Elementary School on separate occasions last spring and fall. Mesta was a clerk who was not supposed to have physical contact with patients, but he allegedly waited until the clinic nurse was out of the room, then molested his victims, police said when he was arrested in October.

After Mesta was arrested, investigators learned about another case of suspected abuse. They claimed Mesta had abused a young relative at family gatherings in 1996 and added sodomy charges and another sex abuse charge.

Mesta has remained in the Jackson County Jail on $1 million bail since his arrest Oct. 9.