Burke Co. woman sentenced to 20 years for statutory rape

- Tara Nichole Stevens will spend the next 20 years in prison following her plea to sex offenses and child abuse on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, in Burke County Superior Court.

Stevens pleaded guilty to statutory rape and was given an active prison term of 20-29 years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.  

The judge also imposed a sentence of five to seven years for her felony child abuse plea to run concurrent with the active term.

Two weeks ago, Tara Stevens’ co-defendant and husband Richard Stevens pleaded guilty to four counts of statutory sex offense and one count of statutory rape. He was given an active prison sentence of 35 to 52 years. Richard Stevens engaged in sexual acts with the victims - now ages 18, 15 and 9 - and often recorded the encounters.

Tara Stevens told law enforcement that she knew what was taking place but did not do anything about it, and she assisted her co-defendant in production of the recorded sexual encounters.

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