Man on most wanted list has rape charge dismissed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — Authorities have dismissed the statutory rape charge that put a man on Rowan County’s most wanted list when he fled to avoid prosecution.
Josue Espinoza Ramos, 21, was charged in 2009. The victim was a 14-year-old girl.
Ramos had been on the run for two years until his arrest in December after a bystander recognized Ramos at Dollar General on U.S. 29 when he walked into the store with his mother and sister.
At that time, Ramos gave false names and birth dates to officers. His mother, Emma Espinoza Lopez, went along with the fake names and did not provide police with her son’s true identity, authorities said.
Both mother and son were charged with obstructing officers.
The court dismissed rape charges against Ramos because of a lack of cooperation from the victim and her family, court records said.
Ramos pleaded guilty to the obstruction charge. He refused probation and asked for an active sentence. He was sentenced to 45 days in the Rowan County jail but was given credit for 45 days already spent there.
Ramos was also ordered to pay $1,260 in court costs.
Lopez received a prayer for judgment continued for attempting to provide false information to an officer.
A prayer for judgment means the defendant admits responsibility for the incident and can be treated as guilty by the courts but receives no formal judgment.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.