Conover Man Given Prison Sentence For Sex Crimes Involving Child

Darwin Aguilar Vasquez, 23, of Conover, will serve an active prison sentence of 12-19 years following his conviction for statutory rape of a child younger than 15 years of age during Catawba County Superior Court on Monday, March 6, 2023.

The Honorable Gregory R. Hayes, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, imposed the terms of the negotiated plea arrangement after Vasquez entered his guilty plea.

The defendant will serve his period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections. He also will have to register as a sex offender for 30 years and will be deported when his prison sentence ends.

The offenses covered a period of 10 months from November 2021 to August 2022 and involved a 13-year-old female victim.

The victim divulged during a forensic interview with the Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County (CAPC) that the defendant had vaginal intercourse with her. He also forced her to send him photos of herself in provocative positions that investigators corroborated by finding the images on his phone.

The case was investigated by Curt Smithey of Newton Police Department with assistance from the Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County. Assistant District Attorney Jessica Phillips handled prosecution for the State with assistance from Legal Assistant Dea Crowe.