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Man pleads guilty to raping child in bowling alley bathroom

Posted at 4:03 PM, Jan 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 06:42:41-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Thomas Pherigo-Jackson, 20, pleaded guilty to raping one child and sexually assaulting another inside a bathroom at Shrader Lanes in Henrico's West End.

Pherigo-Jackson was arrested in January 2015 after the children told their mother someone had touched them in the bathroom.

Two girls were between the ages of 5 and 7, according to the eyewitness who saw them walk out of the bathroom crying to their mother.

When police arrived, they found Pherigo-Jackson, now 20, locked in a bathroom stall.

He was brought out in handcuffs about two hours later.

While Pherigo-Jackson faces 20 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in April, CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said Pherigo-Jackson would likely serve less time time behind bars due to his mental capacity.

"The fact that he tried locking himself inside the stall in the case and doesn’t have the wherewithal to avoid detection... those are issues that a defense attorney will raise with the judge,” Stone said. “That’s something that courts consider when they punish someone."

Jackson is deaf and acknowledged that he agreed to the plea deal through a sign language interpreter. It has also been reported that Jackson faced mental challenges growing up.

"The offense does carry up to life for both, but when you weigh in with mental challenges, it makes it heart breaking for all,” Stone said. “You think about those two young girls who will be traumatized for life, and then you have this young man where his life is ruined, too.”