Man sentenced to life in prison for rape of child under age 13

Arthur Burke (Photo: Hampton Roads Regional Jail)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A man was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for the rape of a child under age 13.

Thirty-year-old Arthur Burke pleaded not guilty to all charges against him on April 11.

The Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office says the victim in the case was under the age of 13 at the time of the crime, which happened in October 2012.

Prosecutors presented evidence before a jury during a two-day trial. Burke was ultimately convicted of rape and indecent liberties by a custodian. The jury recommended a life sentence, the mandatory minimum for rape of a child under age 13, and a fine of $2,500 for indecent liberties by a custodian.

The jury’s recommended sentence was formally imposed on Wednesday.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office says during the sentencing hearing, Burke said in open court that if he was going to be sentenced to the rest of his life in prison, he might as well be executed.

Arthur Burke (Photo: Hampton Roads Regional Jail)