Dexter man pleads guilty to rape

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- A Dexter man originally charged with child molestation has now plead guilty to first-degree statutory rape.

Christopher Abernathy, 35, was arrested in April on suspicion of the rape of a 2-year-old girl.

Abernathy allegedly admitted to the charges to the Dexter Police Department.

He is charged with the unclassified felony of statutory rape in the first degree with a person less than 14 years old.

Because in this case the victim is younger than 12 years old, the charge carries a mandatory penalty of 10 years in prison with a maximum of life.

The Board of Probation and Parole is performing a standard presentence investigation to determine what Abernathy's penalty will be.

The case is set for sentencing June 18.

Abernathy is currently held in the Stoddard County Jail on a $75,000 cash-only bond.

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