Man found guilty of raping 11-year-old girl

Published 12:01 pm Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Butler County man has been convicted of raping a female under the age 12.

On Tuesday, a jury found William Samson Nelson guilty of first-degree rape.

“The charge was for rape first (degree) because he was older than 16 and had sex with a child less than 12,” said Butler County District Attorney Charlotte Tesmer.

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The victim was 11 when the incident occurred.

Tesmer said her office inherited the case from former District Attorney John Andrews.

“I hate that it took so long to get to trial, but I’m happy we were able to get a guilty verdict for the victim and her family,” Tesmer said.

Nelson was arrested on June 2, 2011, after the Greenville Police Department received a call in reference to an 11-year-old who reported that she had been raped.

Sgt. Kenneth Hadley said at the time that the victim was reportedly staying at her cousin’s house, and claimed that she was left alone before being sexually assaulted by a 24-year-old.

After a preliminary investigation was completed, Hadley said that Nelson was arrested and charged with first-degree rape, which is a Class A felony.

“It is despicable to think that a 24-year-old man could do this to an 11-year-old,” said Chief Lonzo Ingram following the arrest.

Tesmer said sentencing is scheduled for July 3 at 10:30 a.m. As a Class A felony, Nelson is facing 10-99 years or life in prison.

“We’re going to push for a stiff sentence,” Tesmer said. “The judge’s history in sentencing sexual offenders is to issue stiff sentences, and that’s what I would expect in this case.”