A Catawba County jury needed less than three hours of deliberation over two days to find Rickey Dale Waldrop, Sr. guilty of seven sexual offenses dating all the way back to 1986 during Catawba County Superior Court on Friday, June 7, 2019.
Waldrop, 57, of Maiden, was found guilty of first-degree rape, two counts of statutory sex offense, first degree sex offense, and three counts of taking indecent liberties with children. The Honorable George C. Bell, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, sentenced the defendant to an active prison term of 117 to 140 years.
Waldrop will serve his period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.
“I want to thank the victims in this case for coming forward, and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Department for their hard work and dedication to this case,” District Attorney Scott Reilly said in response to the verdict. “What these victims did was difficult and courageous. I hope this case serves as an example to others suffering from the effects of sexual abuse that it’s ok to come forward, and if we can, we want to fight for you. It’s never too late to speak up.”
The jury’s guilty verdict concluded a trial that lasted nearly two full weeks. Jury selection started on May 28 and was followed by presentation of evidence by Prosecutor Scott Lippert and Defense Attorney Jonathan Hipps.
The defendant’s three biological children and one step-child, testified for the State and explained to the jury years of sexual abuse suffered at the hands of their father. Witnesses described a troubled home with multiple interventions from police and the Department of Social Services during the 1980’s into the early 2000’s. While allegations of neglect and physical abuse were reported, each victim was not aware of any sexual abuse suffered by their siblings until coming forward in 2013 to report the crimes to law enforcement. The sexual abuse described by the victims occurred over a period of years, with the jury considering specific offenses for crimes committed in 1986, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002.
The case went to the jury on Thursday, June 6 following closing arguments by both sides. Jurors deliberated briefly Thursday before resuming on Friday, reaching their decision around 11:30 a.m.
“The successful outcome of this case is the result of the hard work of the investigators involved and the outstanding presentation of that investigation by our District Attorney’s Office,” Sheriff Don Brown stated after the defendant was sentenced. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and all those impacted by the crimes committed by this defendant.”
Captain Aaron Turk of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office investigated the cases, with assistance from Inv. Russell Boger, Chief Deputy Brian Kelly, and Maiden Police Lt. Tyler Whisenant. Assistant District Attorney Scott Lippert handled the prosecution for the State, with assistance from District Attorney Legal Assistant Tiffani Parker.
CONTACT: Nathan Key