Morganton man found guilty of the statutory rape

Staff Writer

A Burke County jury needed just 90 minutes of deliberation to find a 29-year-old Morganton man guilty of the statutory rape of a 13-year-old female at the end of a two-day trial.

Ricardo Solis Garcia was sentenced to an active prison term of 20 to 29 years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections by the Honorable J. Thomas Davis, Superior Court Judge from Rutherford County, following the jury’s verdict in Burke County Superior Court on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017.

Federal immigration authorities also have a detainer on Garcia, and he will be deported at the end of his prison sentence.

On March 6, 2015, the defendant picked up the victim at her bus stop in the morning, telling her he would take her to school. They had been neighbors at one time, and although reluctant, she got in the car with him.

Instead of taking her to school he took her to a Burke County motel where he rented a room, took her in and forced her to have sex with him.

Sgt. Roger Tate of the Morganton Department of Public Safety investigated the case with assistance from Rhonda Robbins of the Gingerbread House Child Advocacy Center. Michelle Lippert and Frank Webster handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.