A 27-year-old Buffalo man who Wednesday admitted raping a 12-year-old girl two years ago said the 10- to 17-year prison sentence he will likely receive seems like “a long time.”
“This is my first time ever being in trouble,” Cotrell Jenkins told Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case.
“We’re not trying to railroad the defendant,” prosecutor Marni Bogart replied.
During a trial, the prosecution could offer evidence Jenkins impregnated the 12-year-old girl, Bogart told the judge.
Jenkins, of Richlawn Avenue, was charged with two counts of felony predatory sexual assault against a child and one count of first-degree sexual abuse. He faced a sentence of life in prison if convicted of those charges.
The prosecutor said she would be okay proceeding with a trial.
After his initial reluctance, Jenkins instead pleaded guilty to first-degree rape.
“I’m comfortable with it,” Jenkins said of the plea deal.
The first-degree rape conviction carries a prison term of between five and 25 years.
Case said he is inclined to sentence Jenkins anywhere from 10 to 17 years in prison, but he wants to hear from the prosecutor and Jenkins’ lawyer before deciding how long he should serve.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 28.
Bogart said the victim’s mother consented to the plea deal because it spares her daughter from having to testify at a trial.
Jenkins was arrested in March by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Violent Felony Task Force and the Buffalo Police Department’s Sex Offense Squad.
The search for Jenkins started in 2010.
Jenkins was accused of sexually attacking the girl in July 2010 but remained at large.
He was caught hiding at his mother’s house on the 100 block of Richlawn.