Man convicted of raping, impregnating 12-year-old sentenced to life in prison

Man convicted of raping, impregnating 12-year-old sentenced to life in prison
(Source: Raycom Media)

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A man convicted of raping and impregnating a 12 year old girl has been sentenced to life in prison.

Cervantes must serve life in prison without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. A jury found him guilty last week of first degree rape of a juv enile. DNA confirmed Cervantes was the father of the victim's child.

Cervantes was convicted of first-degree rape of a juvenile under the age 13, a crime that carries a mandatory life sentence in prison, according to the Jefferson Parish district attorney.

According to the report, Cervantes raped the girl three times, twice in Westwego and once in his car in Marrero.

School officials suspected in late August 2015 that the child was pregnant, a suspicion the mother initially rejected.

According to the report, the same day a pediatrician confirmed that the victim was 8 ½ months pregnant.

The victim  told authorities that she had been raped by Cervantes, who by this point had vanished from Jefferson Parish, according to the district attorney.

The victim was 12-years-old when she gave birth in September 2015.

Police obtained a warrant for Cervantes' arrest, and a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force apprehended him in July 2016, when the newborn was nine months old, according to evidence presented during the trial, according to the report.

Prior to trial, the victim and her mother signed an affidavit at the behest of Cervantes' family, asserting that the child obtained one of his used condoms and impregnated herself, the district attorney said.

She later refuted the assertions spelled out in the affidavit, saying she signed it in hopes her child would have a father.

The jury deliberated less than a half-hour in convicting Cervantes.

Copyright 2018 WVUE. All rights reserved.