An Orange County Superior Court judge sentenced a Chapel Hill man to between 13 and 21 years in prison Tuesday for the rape of a 10-year-old girl.
Leonard Anthony Rone, 43, of 203 Barclay Road, Apt. F2, pleaded guilty to second-degree rape as part of an agreement with prosecutors. Police initially had charged Rone with first-degree rape in the July 5, 2014, crime.
Judge Allen Baddour called the crime a “sexually violent offense” in sentencing Rone to between 162 months and 255 months in prison. Rone also must register as a sex offender and submit to lifetime satellite monitoring.
Assistant District Attorney Lamar Proctor said Rone, a longtime family friend, had been asked to babysit the girl and her siblings in their Gomains Avenue home while the parents went out for the night. The girl’s parents arrived home at 1 a.m. to find Rone having sex with the girl “against her consent and by force,” Proctor said.
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Her siblings were in another room at the time, he said.
Attorney Susan Seahorn said Rone grew up in foster care and is illiterate. He also has a serious alcohol problem, she said.
“His mother talked with him that night and said he was very, very intoxicated that night,” Seahorn said.
Rone apologized for his actions when asked if he had anything to say but kept his back to the girl’s relatives, who were in the courtroom.
Baddour thanked the family for being there and accepting Rone’s plea bargain. Family members declined to address Rone during the hearing.
“It takes some courage to be here and some strength,” Baddour said.
Rone’s previous criminal record includes convictions for assault, drug and traffic crimes, breaking and entering and receiving stolen goods, according to the N.C. Department of Corrections website.