Sampson Independent

Teen facing pair of felony rape offenses

A 19-year-old is facing felony charges for allegedly having inappropriate contact with an underage victim who was reported as a runaway last month before being returned to her parents the following day, authorities said.

Jonathan Conception Castillo-Cortes, 19, of 1033 N.C. 50, Warsaw, has been charged with statutory rape of a child less than 15 years of age and statutory sex with a child less than 15 years of age.

He was given $50,000 unsecured bond for the two felony offenses against him.

Castillo-Cortes was initially charged on July 14 with contributing to delinquency of a minor when Sampson County Sheriff’s deputies located a runaway juvenile — under the age of 16 — with the 19-year-old suspect.

”The runaway juvenile was returned to their parents and, during the investigation, the juvenile revealed to officers (that) inappropriate sexual contact had been made between the two,” Lt. Marcus Smith said. “As a result, a separate investigation was launched by investigators into the juvenile’s claim. As a result of the investigation, probable cause was established to charge the suspect with statutory rape.”

The runaway was reported on July 13 and the victim was found the next day, at which point the initial contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge was brought against Castillo-Cortes. He was given $2,500 bond for that offense at that time.

Castillo-Cortes was served the new charges late last week at the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office. Those warrants were issued July 31, according to reports.

Previously served ‘delinquency’ charge

By Chris Berendt

Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.