Local/State

Couple reaches plea deals in child sex case

Monday, August 22, 2011

A last minute plea deal stopped a trial involving a married couple that is accused of child sex charges.

Marcello Lara III, 39, was facing close to a dozen felony charges. His trial was supposed to begin Monday in Granville County.

Lara and his 27-year-old wife Marie Lara both reached plea deals and will spend time in prison.

Authorities say Marcello admitted to having sex with a 13-year-old girl and sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl between 2005 and 2009.

He pleaded guilty to one count of indecent liberties and one count of statutory rape of a child. He will serve at least 16 years in prison for the crimes.

Marie pleaded guilty to two counts of sex offense and will likely serve at least five years in prison.

The Laras also have pending charges in Orange County, but it is unclear what will happen to those cases.

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