Preacher sentenced to 18 years in prison for raping 12-year-old girl

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 68-year-old preacher convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl has been sentenced to 18 years in prison without the possibility of parole, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said.

Rufus Stevens, Jr., was convicted of aggravated rape in December of 2019 for a series of assaults that reportedly happened in 1983.

Stevens reportedly assaulted the victim in his car in Overton Park, and was caught molesting the victim on a sofa by the victim’s grandmother.

The DA’s office said this was the oldest rape case prosecuted by its office.

The office also said that the case did not involved discarded rape kits, but did involve recently-recorded phone conversations where Stevens admits to assaulting the victim.

Stevens, who had re-married, moved to Bakersfield, California and began studying to be a preacher, is said to have confessed to the victim and his new wife during a phone call last year.

The DA’s office said Stevens also made an admission to the victim’s mother, who died in 2013.

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