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Billy Joe Carter Pleads to Lesser Charges - abc27 WHTM

Billy Joe Carter Pleads to Lesser Charges

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(Photo Provided to ABC 13 - Stephanie Klein-Davis) (Photo Provided to ABC 13 - Stephanie Klein-Davis)

(Photo Provided to ABC 13 - Stephanie Klein-Davis)

Botetourt Co., VA - Buchanan's former volunteer fire chief, Billy Joe Carter, pleaded no contest Thursday to five different charges and sentenced to nearly six years in prison.

It was the second plea deal Carter has struck this week. Thursday's was at the state level where Carter faced several life sentences for allegedly raping a woman.

It was the rape charge that became the hang up for the case as Carter denied raping his alleged victim.

A question about the evidence in the rape charge led to the charge being reduced to misdemeanor sexual battery.

Carter got a year for the sexual battery charge plus a year each for three related felonies plus two years for a fourth.

Carter was accused of beating up the boyfriend of a tenant and then raping the woman.

In court, a tearful Carter denied significant wrongdoing and made it clear that he felt he was a victim of his outspoken nature and politics.

Carter's assault victim even defended him from the rape charge of the latter man's girlfriend.

"I think it's bull crap. Billy Joe Carter didn't do it (the rape). I don't think he did it one bit," Brendan Esque said.

"We firmly believe we could defeat the rape charge. That was never... If it was just a rape charge we would try the case. But there were other charges involved there as well," said Defense Attorney Charles John Civoti said.

Carter, who said he was tired of fighting the case also had concerns about compelling a young witness to testify.

Carter will not have to register as a sex offender upon release. He still faces a federal sentence for charges related to disability fraud later this spring.

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