Wilson man arrested on rape charge

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Police have charged a 58-year-old Wilson man with raping a woman on Saturday.

Officers arrested James Junior Applewhite of Fourth Street after investigating a sexual assault reported to Wilson Medical Center staff, according to Wilson police spokesman Sgt. Steve Stroud.

A woman told police Saturday morning that Applewhite had forced her to have sex with him earlier that day, Stroud said Tuesday. Applewhite was arrested on a charge of second-degree forcible rape and booked into the Wilson County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond.

Second-degree rape, a Class C felony carrying a presumptive sentence of 4 years, 10 months to 6 years, 1 month in prison for a defendant with no prior convictions, occurs when a perpetrator engages in intercourse by force and against the will of the other person or has sex with someone who is mentally disabled, incapacitated or physically helpless, according to North Carolina law.

Perpetrators are charged with first-degree rape, a Class B1 felony carrying a presumptive sentence of 16-20 years behind bars, if a weapon is used or threatened, if the victim suffers serious injury or if one or more accomplices aid or abet the commission of the crime.

Applewhite served 3 months, 10 days in prison when his probation on misdemeanor misuse of 911 system and misdemeanor resisting a public officer convictions was revoked in Wilson County in 2008, according to N.C. Department of Public Safety records.

He previously spent 4 months in prison on 1997 convictions of communicating threats and using profane, harassing or threatening language on a telephone call in Wilson County and was behind bars for less than two months on assault on a female and larceny of more than $200 convictions in 1988.

Applewhite is scheduled to appear in court on the second-degree rape charge Aug. 13.