GRAHAM, NC — A Burlington man pleaded guilty Monday to statutory rape, admitting that he assaulted a 12-year-old girl, and was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison.
Jose Ramon Corea, 34, formerly of a trailer park at 2417 N. Church St., Burlington, was charged last March 26 with first-degree rape of a child.
Details in the case are graphic and disturbing.
The girl’s primary care physician reported to the Alamance County Department of Social Services in March that she was pregnant. Both DSS and Burlington police began an investigation.
The girl was reluctant to reveal information about the case, but eventually said Corea had sex with her.
The girl had an abortion. A DNA test showed 99.99 percent certainty that Corea was the father, said District Attorney Pat Nadolski said Monday.
Through an interpreter Monday, Corea admitted his guilt under routine questioning by Superior Court Judge Jim Roberson.
“I have no defense. I’m guilty,” Corea said. “Just give me the time you’re going to give me. Send me to prison.”
Nadolski briefly described the trauma the girl and her family have endured since the case began. She still blames herself for the assault and is in counseling. Because of her emotional state, Nadolski and the girl’s mother were concerned about taking the original, higher charge of first-degree rape before a jury and subjecting the teen to intense questioning.
The girl’s mother was in court for the hearing and, visibly distressed, chose not to speak to the court.
The first-degree rape charge would have brought a minimum of about 30 years in prison. Corea was sentenced to 20 to 29 years in prison, which is at the top of the state’s standard range of sentencing on statutory rape. Corea had no criminal record.