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Covington fireman gets 30 years for rape

A man who was originally facing a life sentence behind bars was recently able to plead guilty to a lesser charge, therefore, receiving a reduced sentence. The man, who is a 29-year-old now-former firefighter for Covington, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to a charge of forcible rape following the alleged sex crime.

The man had already admitted to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl. For his admitted offense, he was originally charged with aggravated rape, which is punishable with an automatic life sentence.

However, the man was offered a plea deal - agreed on by the father of the victim - where he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge and received a 30-year prison sentence. The terms of the plea deal also mandate that he resign from his position with the local fire department. He had worked there while the case was ongoing.

The man was arrested for his crimes back in 2011 when the victim's father notified authorities that she was sexually abused and identified the man as her abuser. She was between 3 and 5 years old during the time of the crimes.

The man, who has both a wife and two kids, was arraigned on forcible rape charges after he was arrested.

While 30 years is a long time to spend in prison, the man will eventually have the opportunity to live life as a free individual and once again become a contributing member of society. The case underscores how defendants can barter for lighter sentences if they cooperate with authorities via a guilty plea.

Defendants must always weigh their options, and assess the likelihood of a successful outcome in a jury trial. Entering into a plea deal with a judge can often be a more attractive alternative.

Source: NOLA.com, "Former Covington firefighter gets 30 years in child rape case," Heather Nolan, Jan. 22, 2013

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