Man sentenced to 35 years in prison for raping 9-year-old girl during visitationBy Mason White 9:46 AM June 24, 2014
|Carlos Roberto Lopez|
By: Anika Rao
A man broke the trust of a 9-year-old girl when he raped her during visitation, according to court documents in South Carolina.
The man was sentenced to 35 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of sexual offenses against the minor.
The abuse occurred over a period of one year.
36-year-old Carlos Roberto Lopez, who is originally from Honduras, was found guilty at the Horry County Justice Center in Conway.
Lopez was convicted of sexual abuse stemming from having sex with the child when she was 9 to 10 years old.
The child, was in the care and custody of her grandparents, and her mother had visitation with the child.
The girl went to visit her mother and Lopez, who was the mother’s boyfriend at the time.
While the girl’s mother would go to work or run other errands, Lopez was left to care for the child, prosecutors said. Lopez used their time home alone to rape the child.
The acts of the accused came to light when the child began to refuse to go to his mother’s house, which was out of character for her.
In addition, the child began to imitate sexual acts with other children her age, prompting the girl’s grandmother to question her.
The child disclosed that Lopez was doing these things to her while she was at her mother’s house.
Lopez was found guilty of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and one count of lewd act upon a minor. He will not be eligible for parole or any early release from prison until he has served at least 85% of his 35 year sentence, which is about 30 years.
When he is released from prison, Lopez is require to be monitored by a GPS tracking device at all times and to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.