Ernest Carter, the pastor of New Life Pentecostal Holiness Church in Scott, was convicted Monday of attempted aggravated rape — a crime that happened nearly three decades ago, according to this report by The Daily Advertiser.
The molestation started when the girl — Carter’s niece — was six-years-old, between 1969 and 1977. Despite learning of the abuse, the girl’s mother didn’t immediately act on her daughter’s claim. That changed, however, in 1977 when the girl, then 14-years-old, recorded a phone conversation with Carter in which he graphically recalled their sexual encounters over the years. Instead of contacting law enforcement, the family held a meeting and decided Carter would have no more contact with his niece.
In 2012, the victim informed local authorities of the abuse she sustained from Carter during her childhood. Carter, now 69-years-old, was convicted Monday for attempted aggravated rape, which carries a potential sentence of up to 50 years in prison.
“With charges like these, there is no statute of limitations,” 15th Judicial Assistant District Attorney Ronald Dauterive tells the Advertiser, adding that as far as he can recall, this case marks the longest lapse between the commission of a crime and a conviction.