A Springfield man was convicted of statutory rape in a case where the jury deliberated a total of six minutes before delivering a guilty verdict.
The victim in the case stated that in March 2017 Ronnie Dale Perkins, 34, invited her to sit on his bed as he watched her play games on her phone. Perkins then pushed the 12-year-old back on the bed, removed her clothes, and raped her.
Perkins admitted having sex with the victim, telling police he knew she was “young” but didn’t know she was only 12.
The victim’s mother found texts between Perkins and the girl indicating a sexual relationship. The mother immediately contacted law enforcement.
Perkins had opted for jury sentencing and the same jury that convicted him of statutory rape in the first degree recommended a sentence of life in prison.
The jury’s recommendation came after they were informed of past actions by Perkins that were not put into evidence in the trial phase; convictions for harassment in the second degree, violation of an order of protection, and domestic assault in the fourth degree. The jury debated for multiple hours before the unanimous recommendation of life.
Judge David Jones will hold a formal sentencing hearing on October 26, 2020.
Detective Chelsea Taylor of the Springfield Police Department lead the investigation into Perkins and the case was prosecuted by APA Sarah Donelan and Nathan Chapman.