A Missouri man has pleaded guilty to raping two girls, aged 8 and 11.
Carlo Love, 18, of Kennett, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 10 years suspended imposition of sentence after he pleaded guilty in the rapes of an 8-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl in November 2016, The Dunklin Democrat reports.
The victims were reportedly at their grandfather's house on Nov. 19, 2016, when the grandfather "got on his breathing machine ... and went to sleep." Love then asked the two girls, who were locked in a room with him, if they wanted to play a game.
Love then allegedly raped the 11-year-old, who managed to escape the room, before he assaulted the 8-year-old, as well. The 11-year-old and her 9-year-old brother heard the 8-year-old screaming and got the door unlocked, reportedly causing Love to stop the attack.
The children then texted their mother, telling her to pick them up.
The girls were taken to a children's hospital in Little Rock where DNA evidence was found, reports the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Love was arrested on Dec. 2, 2016.
"I want to thank Deputy Prosecutors Curtis Walker and Gina Knight for their diligence and effort to keep this sexual predator away from the citizens of Blytheville," said prosecuting attorney Scott Ellington. Ellington also thanked the Crimes Against Children Division of the Arkansas State Police, along with thew Blytheville Police Department, for their assistance in the case.
In October, a Michigan teenager who had been charged with 20 sexual assaults was sentenced to 45 days in a juvenile facility in a decision that drew outrage from the victims' families, New York Daily News reports.
The 16-year-old from Brighton Township had been charged with 20 counts of sexual assault for raping at least three teen girls, but accepted a plea agreement for six of the felonies. Along with his 45-day sentence, the teen will have to register as a sex offender for life and may have to complete an outpatient sex rehab program.
The victims' families spoke out against the lenient sentence, which will reportedly see the teen boy back with his family before Christmas.
"She has a life sentence; all of these girls do," said Ashley, parent of one of the victims. "And to give him 45 days doesn't even seem fair to what these girls have gone through."
Parents of the victims said that they also know of other victims who have not come forward.
"He has practiced the same M.O. and has practiced the same tactics with multiple young girls," said another parent, identified as Jackie. "[I'm worried] he's going to continue to offend and that's the thing all of our girls were most worried about."
According to Assistant County Prosecutor Marilyn Bradford, the teen had used social media to gain the victims' trust before using his size to overpower them. The assaults reportedly took place in 2016, when he was 14, and the youngest of his victims was 12.
Sources: The Dunklin Democrat, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, New York Daily News / Featured Image: Dave Nakayama/Flickr / Embedded Images: Mississippi County Sheriff's Office/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, WP Paarz/Flickr