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Man pleads guilty to rape of girl, 13, in Westminster


A 22-year-old man pleaded guilty in Carroll Circuit Court yesterday to raping a 13-year-old girl who had been drinking beer and brandy in October and was afraid to go home drunk, according to the prosecution's statement of facts.

Regelio C. Pantoja, who will be deported to Mexico, agreed through an interpreter to plead guilty to second-degree rape and received a 10-year suspended prison sentence.

Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. also ordered that Pantoja register as a sex offender in Maryland, and make "no illegal re-entry to the United States."

Pantoja was charged with second-degree rape because the difference in age between him and the victim exceeds four years, said Deputy State's Attorney Tracy A. Gilmore.

Pantoja has a sixth-grade education, Daniel Shemer, assistant public defender, said. His deportation by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service is "inevitable. INS is coming to get him," Shemer said.

Pantoja is being held at the Carroll County Detention Center.

The girl was supposed to have spent the night at a friend's home but was not allowed in because she had been drinking, Gilmore said. The girl was afraid to go home drunk, he said. She had met Pantoja earlier in the evening and went to the residence in the 100 block of W. Main St. in Westminster where he was staying.

He raped her after she became sick, Gilmore told the judge.

Pub Date: 2/18/99

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