A Morganton man will spend at least 12 years in prison for keeping a 14-year-old Guatemalan girl as a sex slave.
Pasqual Mendez, 24, pleaded guilty in Burke County Superior Court on Monday to statutory rape of a child under 15. Charges of assault on a female and interfering with emergency communications were dismissed, court records show.
The girl told investigators her mother and Mendez arranged the relationship, and that she met him for the first time when she arrived at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the district attorney’s office said Wednesday.
“Her life consisted of cooking and cleaning for him and being forced to engage in sexual activity with him every day,” prosecutors said in a statement. “She informed investigators she did not want the sexual acts to take place and tried to push away the defendant.”
Mendez claimed the two were married. He told officers he’d purchased the girl six months earlier, according to prosecutors.
Morganton Police arrested him in May 2016 after responding to an assault call. Police found the victim crying in the backyard. She said Mendez hit her and shoved her down because she failed to cook dinner, the district attorney’s office said.
A medical exam revealed that she was pregnant, prosecutors said.
The girl is in the custody of the Burke County Department of Social Services. She has no known family in the area, according to the district attorney’s office.