Jury finds Ardmore man guilty of rape, recommends five year sentence

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - A jury found 22-year-old Dwight Burley guilty of first degree rape on Thursday afternoon after deliberating for more than three hours.

The victim said she is grateful Burley will be serving time.

"It's going to be with me for the rest of my life and I just wish it would've been longer but I am glad that he is getting time," the woman said.

Court documents said the victim had been out celebrating her birthday with friends last spring.

Her niece who, was dating Burley at the time, was there as well but the victim had never socialized with him before.

The victim had been drinking at several locations and was highly intoxicated.

Burley showed up later to drive them home in the victim's car

That gave him access to her keys and her home.

After dropping her off, prosecutors say Burley came back to her home later that night and raped her.

Melissa Handke, assistant district attorney, said the victim didn't realize what happened until the next day, talking to friends and family to get a clearer idea. Three days later she reported it to Ardmore police.

"It's never easy to face your accuser in court, to face someone who raped you," Handke said. "In this case, it was harder for her because she has no memory of the actual event."

The victims said she is thankful for everyone's help with the case.

"You know, (I'll) just take it day by day," she said. "It's always going to be in the back of my mind, thinking about it. I've just got to move on with my life."

Burley initially confessed and DNA evidence supported his confession, but later pleaded not guilty.

The jury didn't buy it, it recommended five years in prison and he'll have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Burley's attorney declined comment.