Man sentenced to 20 years in rape of 14 year old

A Tangipahoa Parish man will serve 20 years in prison after pleading no contest to forcible rape, the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Ronald Loper, 37, of Bedico, was arrested in June 2011 on a count of forcible rape of a 14-year-old girl, the District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

The incident occurred when the girl and her family were visiting Loper’s home.

State district Judge Edward J. Gaidry sentenced Loper on Monday to 20 years with the state Department of Corrections.

Loper was set to begin a jury trial Monday when he chose to plead no contest, the District Attorney’s Office said.

The 21st Judicial District covers Livingston, Tangipahoa and St. Helena parishes.