Prosecutor Responds To Sheriff’s Statement Child Sex Abuse Suspect Should Be In Prison

Last Friday, WTSB News was first to report the arrest of a 31 year-old Smithfield man in what was described as the worst reported non-fatal child abuse case in the history of the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell wanted to know why the suspect, who was arrested in late-2015 on 130 felony charges, received probation on all the charges, and while on probation in 2016 the sexual assaults occurred.

Tyrone Davis Stanley of Highway 210, Smithfield is now charged with sexually molesting his four biological children: his 1 year-old daughter, 3 year-old daughter, 5 year-old daughter, and his 6 year-old son while on probation for more than 80 felonies in Johnston County and 50 others in Harnett and Sampson Counties. All the charges were for breaking into migrant camps and migrant camp buses.

“I want to know why Tyrone Stanley, who was arrested just over a year ago on 130 felony charges spanning three counties and received probation on all those charges,” Sheriff Steve Bizzell said last Friday. “While Stanley was on probation and not in prison where he belonged, these sexual assaults on these four children occurred.  This is one of the most sickening incidents of non-fatal child abuse that we have ever investigated. Sex offenses on children are inexcusable and perhaps this would not have occurred had the courts acted more appropriately in his prior sentences. He would have been in prison. The failure of an effective judicial system is why these innocent children will have to live with the trauma of this sexual abuse for the rest of their lives.”

Assistant District Attorney Paul T. Jackson prosecuted Stanley in 2016.  In a prepared statement Jackson said, “I understand and sympathize with Sheriff Bizzell’s frustration regarding these cases. Unfortunately the victims targeted were seasonal workers who did not reside in the United States and were unavailable at the time of the plea. The testimony of each victim would have been required by law in all of the cases.”

“I was concerned that the victims would not return and testify, and so I negotiated the best plea offer I could under the circumstances,” Jackson added.

“We continued to make significant efforts to locate the victims and even had law enforcement help search for them. We were unable to produce a single victim to testify in court. Had I not negotiated this plea, I would have eventually been forced to dismiss each case.”

Ironically Jackson is the assistant district attorney now assigned to prosecute Stanley on the sex charges. “However due to ethical considerations and to ensure the integrity of the judicial process, I am unable to comment on those cases at this time,” he said in a statement.

Stanley is still in the Johnston County Jail under an $800,000 bond. More arrests have not been ruled out.

The children are now in the custody of social workers.