D.A. again opposes release of man convicted of raping pregnant woman

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The Onslow County district attorney said he again opposes parole for a man spending life in prison for the 1988 rape of a pregnant woman in Jacksonville.

Kenneth Pickett was convicted for the rape at the New River Shopping Center on January 29, 1988.

District Attorney Ernie Lee said Pickett broke into the woman’s car while she was shopping, and hid in the back seat. When the victim got into the car, Lee said Pickett grabbed her from behind and forced her to drive to a secluded part of town where he raped her in the car.

Lee said during the attack, the man’s wallet and combe fell out from his pants. The D.A. said the woman was able to kick the items under the front seat and Pickett ran from the vehicle.

After being examined at the hospital, the victim learned she was five weeks pregnant and had lost the baby.

Lee said there was a DNA match, and Pickett pled guilty to first degree rape, second degree kidnapping, common law robbery, and breaking and entering a motor vehicle.

The D.A. told the parole commission that Pickett “is dangerous and should not be released.” Lee said the man has had 94 infractions while in prison and that he should remain there for the rest of his life.

Lee has opposed Pickett’s parole since he was first eligible in 2013.

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