03/29/09 — Pikeville man charged with statutory rape

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Pikeville man charged with statutory rape

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on March 29, 2009 2:00 AM

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Leroy Murchison

A 27-year-old Pikeville area man has been charged with statutory rape for an alleged sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office says.

Leroy Luther Murchison, 29, of Lancaster Road, faces one count of statutory rape and was jailed Thursday under $80,000 bond, lead investigator Tammy Odom reported.

Murchison was described as an acquaintance of the victim and her family.

The girl's family made the initial report of a possible sexual relationship between the 14-year-old girl and 27-year-old man, detectives said.

There are two different degrees of statutory rape described by state law.

The more severe form, in terms of state statute, is when a defendant is at least six years older than a victim aged 13, 14 or 15.

In this case the defendant is 13 years older than the girl.

Statutory rape in that circumstance is a Class B1 felony, punishable by 12 years in prison up to life imprisonment without parole, depending on the circumstances.

Although the statute specifically lists "vaginal intercourse," any sex act may be considered statutory rape, according to state law. The law excludes those who are married legally.

The "less severe" form of statutory rape, in terms of state law, is when a defendant is between four and six years older than the alleged statutory rape victim.

When that age difference exists, a person can be convicted of a Class C felony, punishable by between about 3-1/2 years to 17-1/2 years in a state penitentiary depending on aggravating and mitigating factors.