WINSTON-SALEM, NC (The Winston-Salem Journal) – A Winston-Salem man was convicted Monday on charges that he sexually abused and raped a 14-year-old girl in 2016.
Adrian Valadez-Lopez, 36, of Weatherwood Court, entered an Alford plea in Forsyth Superior Court to second-degree forcible rape, second-degree forcible sex offense and indecent liberties with a child. An Alford plea means that Lopez did not admit guilt but acknowledged that Forsyth County prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him if the case had gone to trial.
Judge Eric Morgan of Forsyth Superior Court consolidated the cases into two charges for sentencing, as laid out in the plea agreement. He sentenced Lopez to a total of nine years and eight months to 21 years and eight months in prison.
According to Assistant District Attorney Kia Chavious, Winston-Salem police started investigating Lopez on July 7, 2016, after investigators received a report alleging sexual abuse from the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office. A Yadkin County counselor told the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office that one of her clients, a teenage girl, told her that one of her friends had been sexually abused. The sheriff’s office started investigating and determined that the alleged abuse happened in Winston-Salem.
Chavious said that the girl was 14 at the time of the alleged abuse. The girl’s mother had been in a longterm dating relationship with Valadez-Lopez and had two smaller children with Lopez. The girl was not Valadez-Lopez’s biological daughter.
At some point, the girl’s mother and Valadez-Lopez broke up and Valadez-Lopez, who lived in Winston-Salem, had visitation rights with the two children he had with the girl’s mother, Chavious said. The girl and her siblings would spend weekends with Lopez, she said.
During one of those visits in 2016, Lopez, the girl and her siblings were sleeping in a bedroom when Valadez-Lopez woke the girl up and led her into the living room. Chavious said the girl lay on a couch while Valadez-Lopez sat beside her. The girl fell asleep but woke up to find Valadez-Lopez on top of her. Chavious said he touched the girl’s genitals and then raped her.
The girl tried to pretend she was asleep but she also moved at certain points to make Valadez-Lopez stop raping her, Chavious said. After several minutes, he stopped, she said.
The girl told her friends, including one who was getting therapy with a Yadkin County counselor, what had happened two months later after her friends noticed changes in her behavior, Chavious said.
Valadez-Lopez told Winston-Salem police that he did not rape the girl and that the girl got on top of him while he was asleep. He said he never told anyone about the alleged incident because the girl swore him to secrecy, Chavious said.
Robert Propst, Valadez-Lopez’s attorney, said his client has a diferent version of what happened but decided to take the Alford plea after looking at the evidence and considering what could happen if the case had gone to trial.
Chavious said this has been difficult for the girl, who had to leave the courtroom during the hearing. She said she was ready to try the case but the plea agreement would save the girl from having to testify in open court.