A Winston-Salem man was convicted Monday on charges that he sexually abused a 12-year-old girl for months in 2014.
Michael Eugene Carter, 37, pleaded guilty in Forsyth Superior Court to four counts of first-degree statutory sex offense, three counts of indecent liberties with a child and several other sexual offenses. Carter, already a registered sex offender based on a 2002 conviction, also pleaded guilty to a charge that he violated the rules of his sex-offender registration by going onto school property.
Judge David Hall of Forsyth Superior Court consolidated the charges into one judgment and sentenced Carter to a minimum of 18 years and four months to a maximum of 27 years in prison. A part of that sentence includes five years of post-release supervision. Once he gets out of prison, Carter will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He also will be on satellite-based monitoring for the five years he is on post-release supervision.
Assistant District Attorney Pansy Glanton said in court Monday that the girl’s mother and Carter had dated for several years and lived together. They had a son together. The mother reported the sexual abuse allegations to Winston-Salem Police on May 21.
The day she made the report was also her daughter’s birthday.
The girl told Winston-Salem police that Carter forced her to have oral sex several different times between May 2014 and November 2014. Carter also fondled her breasts and touched her genitals, Glanton said.
The girl said one time, Carter grabbed her hair and forced her to perform oral sex on him, according to Glanton.
The mother initially told Winston-Salem police that she found out about the sexual abuse recently, but that wasn’t true, Glanton said. The mother found out about the sexual abuse in November 2014 but didn’t report it, she said.
The mother didn’t mention the abuse during a custody battle between her and Carter over their son, Glanton said.
Carter told the mother when they started dating that he was a registered sex offender, and the mother feared that if she reported the abuse on her daughter she would lose her children to the Forsyth County Department of Social Services, Glanton said.
Once the mother found out about the abuse, she kicked Carter out of the house, but Carter still had access to the daughter, her sister and the son over the next few years, Glanton said.
The girl also got into fights and acted out at school until she eventually got expelled, Glanton said.
It was after her expulsion from school that the mother talked to her daughter about getting help, Glanton said. The mother believed the only way to get her daughter help was to report the sexual abuse allegations and that’s what she did in 2019, Glanton said.
James Quander, one of Carter’s attorneys, said if the case had gone to trial, he would have challenged the evidence.
He noted that none of the adults said anything negative about Carter, and he would have emphasized the fact that the abuse was not disclosed until 2019 and that Carter was allowed to stay over at the house of the children’s grandmother.
Glanton said the mother is facing criminal charges for her failure to disclose the abuse.
Those charges are pending, she said.