Woodleaf man gets nearly 50 years for statutory rape

  • Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 12:10 a.m.
Thomas Leland Corso
Thomas Leland Corso

A Woodleaf man was sentenced this week to nearly half a century in prison for sex offenses against a teenage girl in 2009.

Leland Thomas Corso Jr. was convicted in Rowan County Criminal Superior Court of two counts of statutory rape, two counts of statutory sex offense, two counts of indecent liberties with a child, first degree sexual exploitation of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.

Judge W. Erwin Spainhour sentenced Corso to 40 to 49½ years in prison.

During the summer of 2009, the 24-year-old began a relationship with a 14-year-old girl. That relationship continued into the fall of 2010 when it was ended by the victim. She said Corso had become very controlling and sexually abusive. He continued to pursue the victim. Eventually, Corso broke into her home while she was alone and forcibly raped her.

These crimes were reported to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office in January of 2011 when deputies responded to another breaking and entering at the victim’s home. Corso was accused of breaking into the home and stealing pictures of the victim and her younger sister. He had previously threatened the victim and told her that her younger sister would become his next victim. At this time, the victim realized that she needed to report the crimes to law enforcement.

Detectives executed a search warrant at Corso’s home and found cameras that were focused on the victim’s home. Detectives also found hundreds of photographs on Corso’s computer with images of young girls, ranging in age from 4 to 12 years old. A photograph of the victim’s younger sister that had been stolen from their home was also on his computer.

District Attorney Brandy Cook said in a release that the case was scheduled for a jury trial this week before the defendant pleaded guilty. That prevented the young victim from having to testify.

Cook praised the work of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and Assistant District Attorney Paxton Butler in working the case.

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