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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duncan Bynum pleaded guilty Friday to sexually assaulting a teenager in 2009 and was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.

Bynum, 42, entered his guilty plea to statutory rape during the fifth day of his trial.

Mecklenburg Assistant District Attorney Tim Sielaff told the Observer that Bynum s decision to plead guilty came after Superior Court Judge Carl Fox ruled that a woman who had previously been sexually assaulted by the defendant would be allowed to testify.

The judge made his ruling, the prosecutor said, after the previous victim testified outside the presence of the jurors about the sexual assault.

Bynum was convicted in 2007 of sexual battery of the victim, who was 13-years-old at the time. He was sentenced then to two years probation.

On Friday, Bynum pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl.

Sielaff said the teenager was walking along Eastway Drive in July 2009 when Bynum pulled up in an SUV. Bynum then drove the girl a short distance to a barber shop/salon his family owns in northeast Charlotte, where he sexually assaulted her, the prosecutor said.

It was not easy for the victims to come to court and testify, Sielaff told the Observer. If the victims had not come forward Bynum may never have been held responsible for the rape of the 14-year-old.

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