Winston-Salem man accused of raping girl at church says girl came on to him

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Henry Clifford Byrd Sr.

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — A Winston-Salem man accused of raping a 10-year-old girl at a church denied the allegations in a letter he wrote to the church’s pastor, claiming that the child came on to him, according to the Winston-Salem Journal, citing testimony Friday in Forsyth Superior Court.

Henry Clifford Byrd Sr., 67, of Beeson Dairy Road, is on trial on charges of first-degree rape and taking indecent liberties with a minor. Byrd is a registered sex offender and was convicted of four counts of taking indecent liberties with a child in 2000. He was given a minimum sentence of six years in prison. Byrd does not have an attorney; he is representing himself. Dan Anthony is his stand-by counsel, which means Anthony provides Byrd with legal assistance.

The girl, who is now 13, testified Thursday that Byrd raped her on March 23, 2013, just before an Easter play at New Bethel Baptist Church on Trade Street. She said Byrd attacked her in the kitchen in the basement of the church.

According to testimony, Byrd was a member of the church but was never a church employee.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal

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