23-year-old charged with statutory rape

Published 1:29 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jimmy Stephon Stokes

A Chocowinity man charged with statutory rape turned himself in to the Beaufort County Magistrate’s Office on May 1.

According to a press release from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, the crime involving a juvenile was initially reported by the county Department of Social Services.

That Jimmy Stephon Stokes, 23, of Mary Street in Chocowinity, turned himself in is not unusual.

“It’s actually pretty common in cases where we have extended investigations,” said Major Kenneth Watson, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. “We typically make contact with them to get their side of the story. It’s an event we coordinate and set up with the defendant. When we coordinate it, it puts the defendant in position where they’re not arrested out of the blue. It benefits us because it helps reduce the time we spend trying to track down a suspect.”

Watson said that that arrangement is not applicable for those posing an imminent threat to public safety.