Jury convicts man on statutory rape charges

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Marshall County jury convicted a Lewisburg man on two counts of statutory rape Friday after deliberating a couple of hours about liaisons at a motel here.

Eric Condrell Oneal, 27, is now scheduled to be sentenced on June 20 by Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler who on Friday evening raised Oneal's bond from $12,000 to $36,000.

The trial that ended Friday evening in the Marshall County Courthouse was the second time Oneal was tried on the charges stemming from his meetings with a 15-year-old girl at the Walking Horse Lodge, according to his attorney Don Himmelberg of Nashville. The first trial ended with a hung jury.

Oneal was arrested by Carol B. Jean, then a Lewisburg Police detective who's now a Shelbyville Police officer, records show. Court officers said the police investigation grew from third-hand information that led to the girl. The liaisons were on Nov. 18, 2005 and Jan. 3, 2006.

The full range of punishment for the crime of statutory rape is 1-6 years of confinement, however a defendant without convictions would face a sentence range of 1-2 years.