Binghamton Man Who Lost Family In Fire Will Go To Prison For Rape

By Justin Moss

July 22, 2010 Updated Jul 25, 2007 at 7:41 PM EDT

Heading into Broome County Court and surrounded by family, Michael Ray did not want to talk about the charge.

"I'm going to punch you---if you keep bothering me," said Ray.

Inside, Ray plead guilty to third degree rape.

He admitted he had sex with the underage girl.

Ray told Judge Martin Smith it happened 3 years ago, when the victim was 16 years old.

The Broome District Attorney's office is satisfied with the outcome.

By pleading guilty, Ray will not go to trial.

Prosecutor Joann Parry says that's good for the victim.

"It allows her to put this behind her, it's a fair disposition to eliminate the need for her to have to testify or be involved any further," says Broome County Chief Asst. District Attorney Joann Parry.

Last year, Ray's wife Laurie and 3 of their children died in this house fire on Front Street in Binghamton.

Laurie Ray's sister, Sherry, came to his court appearance.

"I'm glad he pled guilty," says Sherry Johnson.

In September, Ray will be sentenced to 1 to 4 years in prison in September.

His step daughter, Courtney, is the only other survivor of the fire.

The community had rallied around the Ray's with donations.

Michael and Courtney are seen here dedicating a memorial at the site of the Front Street fire.

It was taken down a few weeks ago, and Ray's former shop in Johnson City is closed.

Ray's attorney, public defender Jack Kotchick, had no comment about the case.

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