Man charged with statutory rape

The mother of a girl, 14, involved in the case is held on a pimping charge

Staff WriterFebruary 21, 2006 

Burnette, 33, is charged with having sex with a 14-year-old.

Investigators charged a 33-year-old man Monday with statutory rape, saying he had sex with a 14-year-old girl whose mother prostituted her.

David Burnette Jr. of Knightdale was arrested Monday afternoon on four counts of statutory rape, according to the Wake County Sheriff's Office. Officers say the crimes occurred Thursday and Friday.

Investigators charged the girl's 47-year-old mother Saturday with four counts of promoting prostitution of a minor, according to arrest warrants.

The mother is not being identified because using her name could identify the girl. It is the policy of The News & Observer not to release the identity of people reported to be victims of sexual assault.

The sheriff's department declined to comment on the arrests, saying the matter was still under investigation.

In court Monday, the Wendell mother hobbled into the room with a slight limp while wearing a gray-and-white striped uniform. Wake County District Court Judge Shelley Desvousges kept the woman's bail at $1 million, saying the charges were "very serious felonies." Desvousges instructed the mother not to have any contact with her teenage daughter.

The woman has six daughters and one son, said her younger brother, Kenneth Lowe, who was in court Monday. Before this incident, the 14-year-old lived with her grandmother, he said.

"I know my sister," Lowe, 46, said. "She wouldn't do anything like this."

In 1993, the woman was convicted of communicating threats, a misdemeanor, according to court records. She has not been convicted of a felony.

Staff writer Jennifer Brevorka can be reached at 836-4906 or jbrevork@newsobserver.com.

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