For some time now, we've had information and documents that indicate an ongoing FBI investigation of R.C. Soles, the state's longest serving senator. Wednesday, a Tabor City newspaper published interviews with both Sen. Soles and one source about that investigation. In fact, there's much more to this story that we've been investigating now for the past year, and today we feel compelled to tell you what we know. Seventeen-year-old Allen Strickland has been in the news for weeks, ever since his new house in Tabor City caught fire in an apparent arson. On July 1, a few weeks before that fire, Allen and a few of his friends, all clients of State Sen. R.C. Soles, sat down with WWAY’s Ann McAdams to discuss problems they were having with the Senator. They told Ann about being called to testify before the FBI, about possible misconduct on the part of the Senator. Ann asked Allen what they testified about. “About molestation, about prostitution,” Strickland said. "I went to Raleigh and went before the grand jury and they questioned me for about six-and-a-half hours,” said Jackie Jordan, one of Soles’s clients. This wasn't the first time we'd heard stories like this. A year ago, another one of Sen. Soles’s clients named Stacey Scott talked to us about his testimony before the FBI. His recollection of the line of questioning was very similar. “The FBI is investigating him, as far as I know, for embezzlement, arson, child molestation,” Scott said. "He (Soles) did try to molest me when I was 15 years old, and I have not told the feds that. He tried to grab by my genitalia and I backed off and I said, ‘You know my dad would kill you.’ He said, 'Please don't tell nobody,’ and he gave me a thousand dollars." Shortly after Scott testified for the grand jury, he says he was picked up by two private investigators for Soles, who spent hours asking him questions. "'Has R.C. Soles ever molested you?' 'Has he ever paid you to do certain things like burn down Dewey Hill's grocery store and everything,' which is what I was questioned about in federal court,” Scott said. Unlike Strickland, Scott said he'd lost his copy of his federal subpoena. We have not aired that interview until now in fairness to the Senator, but in light of recent developments, and the Senator's consistent refusal to talk to NewsChannel 3 about these troubling allegations, and most recently, him accusing us of tabloid journalism, we're now moving forward and telling you exactly why we've been so anxious to talk to him for so long. Although we've seen two different federal subpoenas, where the people being served told us they were asked to testify about Soles, the FBI would not confirm or deny that an investigation is going on. In addition to the documents we've seen, we have much more first-hand testimony that we've been reluctant to air without first talking to the Senator, but he's made it impossible for us to do our job the way we'd prefer. Again Wednesday, the Senator refused our request to talk to him. We will continue to reach out to him for comment.
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