Lopez pleads guilty to rape

Published 10:00 pm Monday, July 7, 2014

Sentenced to 20-29 years in prison

The office of District Attorney Greg Newman announced last Thursday, July 3 that Javier Lopez pled guilty to one count of first-degree rape in Polk County Superior Court recently. 

Lopez, who was 31 at the time of his January 2012 arrest, of 16 Pap Halford Road, Tryon was sentenced by Judge Mark Powell to an active prison sentence of  240-348 months, or 20-29 years, according to Newman’s release. The state was represented by assistant attorney general Nancy Vecchia, who was assigned to the case by district attorney Newman.

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The 2012 case involved an 11-year old girl whose parents discovered her missing when they went to wake her up for school, according to initial police reports.

A missing persons report was made to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the girl was found later that day hidden in a barn at Lopez’ place of employment. Lopez was originally charged with felony child abduction and two counts of statutory rape, according to sheriff reports. Lopez was said to be a friend of the family at the time.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children in the case.

Lopez was held under a $130,000 bond initially. Following his guilty plea in superior court, Lopez was transported to the Scotland County Correction Facility to serve his prison sentence, according to the sheriff’s office.