A Morganton man will spend 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to the statutory rape of a 14-year-old female during Burke County Superior Court on Monday, May 15, 2017.
Pasqual Mendez, 24, was given an active prison term of 12 to 19 years in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County.
The defendant also will be required to register as a sex offender for a period of 30 years.
Officers from Morganton Department of Public Safety responded to a call in May 2016 for an assault at a residence in Morganton. The victim was found crying in the back yard and told officers the defendant hit her and shoved her down because she did not cook dinner.
Mendez alleged the two were married and told officers he had purchased the 14-year-old girl from Guatemala six months earlier.
During a forensic interview with the Gingerbread House Child Advocacy Center, the victim told investigators that her mother and the defendant arranged the relationship, and she met him for the first time when she arrived at the airport in Charlotte.
Her life consisted of cooking and cleaning for him and being forced to engage in sexual activity with him every day. She informed investigators she did not want the sexual acts to take place and tried to push away the defendant. A medical examination revealed that she was pregnant.
The victim is in custody of the Burke County Department of Social Services. She has no known family in the area.
Kyle Goforth investigated the case for Morganton Department of Public Safety. Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lippert handled prosecution for the State.