Catawba County man found guilty of 2009 rape for second time

A Catawba County man has been found guilty for the second time in the 2009 rape of a child.

Clyde Gary Whisenant, 71, will spend at least 28 years in prison after being found guilty by a jury for the 2009 rape of a 12-year-old girl.

The returned its verdict just after deliberating for about an hour, bringing the five-day trial to a close. Whisenant was sentenced to 28 to 35 years in prison, as well as lifetime registration as a sex offender and satellite-based monitoring.

The defendant will serve his prison term in North Carolina.

Whisenant had previously been convicted of first-degree statutory rape and indecent liberties with a child in August 2011, but the conviction and sentence of 28 to 35 years for rape were vacated by the North Carolina Court of Appeals in November 2015 based on a technicality regarding the charging document, and a new trial was ordered.

The indecent liberties conviction was upheld on appeal, and Whisenant received an active prison term of 25 to 30 months for that charge.

The new trial on the rape charge began on March 26 and closed on March 30. The Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County was instrumental in providing support to the family as well as expert witnesses for the trial.