​The trial of a Cheyenne junior high school teacher accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl started Monday in Laramie County District Court.

Joe Meza is facing eight counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 400 years in prison.

The Johnson Junior High School math teacher is accused of sexually abusing the girl between May 2014 and April 2017, when he was between 31 and 34 years old and she was between 14 and 17 years old.

Court documents say Meza was the girl's running club advisor when the alleged abuse started and became the girl's legal guardian when she was between 15 and 16 years old.

Meza, who was placed on administrative leave at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, is still on leave pending the outcome of the case.