An Everson man accused of picking up a teenage girl, giving her alcohol and then sexually assaulting her pleaded guilty Thursday, June 14 to third-degree rape of a child.
Harpal Bajwa, 49, entered an Alford plea to the charge, which means that he's not admitting guilt but believes that a jury could find him guilty based on the evidence.
The Everson Police Department began investigating in early April after a 15-year-old girl went to the hospital and reported being sexually assaulted, according to court documents.
The girl told police that she had been upset and left her house April 9. While she was walking, a man later identified as Bajwa pulled over and asked if she wanted a ride. She said yes and that she wanted to go to the bus stop.
Once she got in, Bajwa asked how old she was, and when she said 15, he told her that was too bad, according to court documents. He bought her alcohol, which she drank while he drove around. At one point, he stopped to look at a semi truck, and he kissed and groped her in the truck's sleeper section.
The girl was highly intoxicated by the time Bajwa got back to his home, and he carried her from his car to his apartment. The girl told police that she passed out for a short time in the bathroom, and when she came out into the living room Bajwa allegedly removed his clothes. She told him she wanted to go home, but he said she was too drunk. At one point, the girl fell asleep and awoke to find Bajwa allegedly molesting her. When she got up and told him she needed to go home, he gave her a ride.
When interviewed by police, Bajwa admitted to picking the girl up, taking her to look at trucks and bringing her back to his apartment, but he denied any sexual contact.
His sentencing is set for July 12.
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