Statutory rape charges for Pitt County manPublished 9:07pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013
A Pitt County man was arrested by Washington police officers on Tuesday, and was charged with one count of statutory rape and one count of statutory sex offense.
The 21-year-old man, Michael Lee King, was given a $15,000 bond pending appearances, according to a press release from Lt. William Chrismon, spokesman for Washington Police Department.
Statutory rape is defined as nonforcible sexual intercourse with or between people who are younger than the age of consent. Chrismon said the victim in this case is 14 years old.
The age of consent varies from age 16 to age 18 depending on the state. In North Carolina, the age of consent is 16 years old and statutory rape is considered a class B1 felony if the offender is more than 6 years older than the victim. Under North Carolina’s structured sentencing, King faces 12 years in prison, at a minimum, if found guilty of the charges against him.
Chrismon said law enforcement became aware of the crime as a result of another investigation and that King had only known the victim for a matter of days.
According to the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System, 62 percent of all cases classified the relationship between statutory rape victim and offender as acquaintances; 29 percent, as boyfriend/girlfriend.