CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A 33-year-old man was sentenced to 13 years in prison for raping a 14-year-old girl at a beauty salon.
On Friday, a Charleston County jury found Christopher Gilyard guilty of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the second-degree regarding a sexual assault.
In July of 2012, the victim was babysitting her 3 year old nephew at her mother's beauty salon.
Prosecutors say Gilyard, who was an employee of the salon, cornered the 14-year-old victim as she was leaving a bathroom off of the back hallway.
Authorities say Gilyard forced the victim to the floor and threatened to kill her if she screamed. According to prosecutors, Gilyard subsequently raped her while her nephew lay sleeping in the next room. Gilyard further threatened to kill the victim if she told of the incident.
Approximately one month after the incident, prosecutors say the victim finally felt safe enough to tell her mother what happened, and the police were notified.
Assistant Solicitor, Debbie Herring-Lash and Shannon Elliott prosecuted the case.
"This young victim showed bravery beyond her years by coming forward and participating in the prosecution of a man that she believed for so long would kill her if she broke her silence," said Assistant Solicitor Elliott.
The jury returned its verdict Friday morning after five hours of deliberation.
Gilyard had a prior record that included two counts of burglary. Judge Deadra Jefferson sentenced him to 13 years of incarceration.