Jury takes just 24 minutes to find New Bern man guilty of raping teen girl


    Harvey Essary Jr. (NewsChannel 12 file photo)

    A New Bern man man was found guilty and sentenced to at least 37 years in prison for raping a teenage girl.

    Harvey Lee Essary Jr. was found guilty on Thursday after just 24 minutes of deliberation. He was sentenced to at least 37 years in prison after the state's evidence convinced a jury Essary raped a girl who was 17 at the time.

    Below is a press release with more information.

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    On February 7, 2019, Harvey Lee Essary, Jr. was found guilty of statutory rape of a minor, 2nd degree forcible rape, 2nd degree forcible sexual offense, and 3 counts of statutory rape of a person 13, 14, or 15 years of age. Superior Court Judge Charles H. Henry sentenced the defendant to consecutive active sentences of a minimum of 300 month and a maximum of 420 months, a minimum of 72 months and a maximum of 147 months, and a minimum of 72 months and a maximum of 147 months active sentences in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction. The jury was impaneled on Monday, February 4, 2019 and heard three days of evidence.

    The State’s evidence showed that on May 11, 2017, the victim presented at Carteret Children’s Clinic for complaints of fatigue. The victim was 17 years old at the time. The victim was informed that she was pregnant, which was confirmed by Carteret Obstetrics/Gynecology on May 12, 2017. The victim disclosed that the pregnancy was a result of vaginal intercourse with the defendant, which had been occurring since she was approximately 12 years old. The victim was interviewed at the Onslow County Child Advocacy Center, where she indicated the defendant began sexually abusing her during her 7th grade school year. The State presented photographs, phone records, school records, medical records, and recorded interviews in addition to the testimony offered during the trial. Detective Lindsey Kensington from the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office was the lead investigator on the case.

    The jury returned verdicts as to each charge after approximately 24 minutes of deliberation. The defendant was represented by Attorney Walter Paramore. The State was represented by Assistant District Attorneys Kaelyn Avery and Precious Harrison-Cobb.

    The State is very pleased with the strong message that this verdict and sentence presents to those who commit criminal acts against children.

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