After jury deliberates 8 minutes, man gets life term in 2017 rape of 6-year-old girl
WHITE CASTLE — A man who snuck into a 6-year-old girl's home and raped her in 2017 has been convicted for a second time — this time after a jury deliberated just eight minutes.
In essence, Patrick Callegan traded a 30-year prison sentence for a life term.
Callegan has been in custody since June 21, 2017. The Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office arrested Callegan that day for first-degree rape, unauthorized entry into an inhabited dwelling and tampering with a witness.
At the time, deputies told WBRZ that Callegan went into a White Castle home without permission and raped a 6-year-old girl. Adults who were there at the time said they did not see or hear Callegan enter the house.
Deputies who interrogated Callegan told him to stay away from the girl, but afterward Callegan messaged one of her relatives and threatened to kill the family.
In April 2019, Callegan pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and intimidating a witness and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. After a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the propriety of non-unanimous verdicts, Callegan was allowed to change his plea to not guilty.
His trial began Monday and the victim, now 12, was among the witnesses to testify against him.
Wednesday, exactly six years after the rape, jurors took only eight minutes to convict Callegan of first-degree rape, which carries a mandatory life term.
“This very quick verdict was the result of a team effort and a very courageous little girl, who wanted to make sure Callegan never harms another person. Hopefully her courage will help other sexual crime victims come forward to law enforcement," Assistant District Attorney Chris Edwards said.
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