Columbia man pleads guilty to charges including statutory rape

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 | 11:40 a.m. CDT; updated 4:31 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 2, 2012

COLUMBIA — A Columbia man was sentenced to five years in prison Monday for second-degree felony statutory rape, five years for possession of child pornography, and four years each for two separate counts of attempted tampering with a victim or a witness in a felony prosecution.

Robert Prince III, 22, pleaded guilty to the charges and will serve the time concurrently with the 20-year sentence he's serving for convictions last year for first-degree child molestation and first-degree endangerment of a child.

Prince was accused of having sex with a girl under the age of 17 sometime between March 25 and April 3 of last year. He was also charged in connection with trying to influence the victim of the crime from cooperating in his prosecution.

The charge of possession of child pornography was brought against Prince for having video on his cellphone of a person under 18 having sex.

The prosecution said Prince had made contact with witnesses from prison in an attempt to prevent them from showing up at their depositions and cooperating with police. 

Supervising editor is Zach Murdock.

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