DA: Hickory man pleads guilty to statutory rape of 13-year-old

A Hickory man has been sentenced to serve at least 13 years in prison for pleading guilty to statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl, according to Office of District Attorney David Learner.

21-year-old Jason Craig Parker also pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with a child and was given an active prison sentence of 13 to 21 years, according to Learner.

The investigation discovered officers with the Hickory Police Department responded to a residence in reference to a report of the rape of a teen.  An 11-year-old girl told her mother that  Parker was downstairs having sex with the 13-year-old cousin, according to a report. The report said the victim told her aunt that she had sex with Parker and that he raped her. Six other children were in the home when the incident happened.

Parker told the woman in the home that he didn't know why he acted as he did and knew it was wrong, according to the report.

Police say during a forensic interview at the Catawba County Children's Advocacy and Protection Center the victim told investigators she was on the couch watching a movie with Parker and a female cousin. When her cousin fell asleep Parker touched the victim inappropriately in her private areas and had sex with her, according to the report. The report says it lasted until the 11-year-old girl woke up and told her mother.

Parker admitted in his interview to having sex with the victim and knew she was 13 and that he made a mistake.

The 13-year-old's grandmother said in court Friday, "This has been hard for everybody, it has affected our entire family. I think it is appropriate that he understands the damage he has done beyond just the actual act.”

Parker spoke as well and directed his message towards the grandmother saying, "I’m sorry. I thank every one of you for what you have done for me.  It’s beyond words how sorry I am. I am truthfully and honestly sorry this happened.”