Apr 3, 2014 11:32 AM by AP
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The pastor of a Scott church has been convicted in Lafayette for trying to rape a child more than three decades ago.
Assistant District Attorney Ronald Dauterive tells The Advertiser Ernest Carter, 69, was accused by a family member who reported the crime to authorities in 2012.
State District Judge Marilyn Castle ordered a pre-sentence investigation earlier this week and will set a sentencing date later.
Carter, convicted of attempted aggravated rape, faces a sentence of up to 50 years in prison.
Carter, pastor of New Life Pentecostal Holiness Church, was accused of molesting the girl between 1969 and 1977, from the time she was 6 years old until she was 14.
The child told her mother about the improper sexual contact, but the mother took no action until the child recorded graphic comments and recollections by the uncle during a telephone conversation with the child in 1977, Dauterive said.
At that time, a family meeting was held and the families agreed that the uncle would have no further contact with the child, but family members did not contact law enforcement.
Dauterive said the victim, then living in Illinois, contacted authorities in 2012 after she heard Carter was under investigation for another crime. After her accusation, Carter was charged with aggravated rape and aggravated incest. He was indicted in May 2013.
"With charges like these, there is no statute of limitations," Dauterive said. "The penalty and law that applied changed twice during those years. He was convicted under the law that existed between 1975 and 1977."