Man living in NC faces deportation after sex crime conviction

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Leonel Jardines Martell

GASTON, N.C. – A man who grew up in Gaston County faces deportation after being convicted of committing a sex act on a 15-year-old girl.

The Gaston Gazette reported that Leonel Jardines Martell, 23, was sentenced to at least 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to statutory rape on Friday.

Martell is not a legal U.S. citizen and was taken into custody of deputies and will be handed to immigration, according to the paper. His defense attorney said deportation is probably unavoidable.

The crime happened at a New Year’s Eve party in 2014 as Martell was celebrating his 21st birthday. He is convicted of performing a sex act on a 15-year-old girl who was there and was later found distraught and bleeding.

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