Belchertown man admits raping boys

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — A 29-year-old man was sentenced to six to eight years in state prison after he pleaded guilty Friday in Hampshire Superior Court to raping three boys at his Belchertown home.

Navy Tep, of 178 Florence Road, sat in silence as defense attorney Korrina Burnham, of the Committee for Public Counsel Services, explained to Judge Mary-Lou Rup that the plea deal was reached in order to spare the victims — who were all younger than 8 at the time of the assaults – from having to testify in court.

“This isn’t someone who’s in denial about what happened,” Burnham said in court. “This is someone who understands what he did is incredibly awful.” Tep pleaded guilty to three counts of child rape and one count of enticement of a child younger than 16. He was  sentenced to 10 years probation following his time in prison.

Under conditions of his probation, Tep may not have any contact with the three victims or any  children younger than 16. He must also undergo treatment for sex offenders. According to court records, Tep enticed three boys — the youngest, a 4-year-old at the time of the abuse — into performing sexual acts in exchange for playing video games. The sexual abuse occurred between December 2007 and October 2014, according to court records. 

Burnham told Rup that Tep long suffered from depression and attributed his behavior, in part, to his mental state.

Tep’s case was originally scheduled to go to trial  in January. But it was stalled when two of the victims recanted their versions of events to officials, according to court records.

But after each of the victims was interviewed again, and their stories corroborated each other, the case proceeded, according to court records.

Tep’s mother, Orn Neth, 56, of Northampton, saw each of the boys come out of Tep’s room – gagging and becoming sick, according to court records. At least one of them told her what happened.

She told the boy not to go into Tep’s room anymore, according to court records, but did not report what she was told to authorities.

One of the boys told his mother in the fall of 2014 about the abuse, which led the other two boys to report the assaults on them.

Neth was charged with child endangerment and intimidation of a witness. As part of the plea deal struck by Burnham and Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Caleb Weiner, Neth was placed on probation for one year. 

Michael Majchrowicz can be reached at mmajchrowicz@gazettenet.com.