make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Boiling Spring Lakes police officer is going to prison

A former Boiling Spring Lakes police officer is going to prison for raping a 14-year-old in his patrol car. Thirty-eight year old Luke Stidham pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree rape and two counts of indecent liberties with a fourteen year old. The incident happened in July and August 2006, after Stidham courted the young lady on MySpace. Stidham is married and has three children of his own. He will serve 4 and a half years behind bars as part of the plea bargain.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Mr. Stidham NEVER admitted

Mr. Stidham NEVER admitted to this crime, It was a ALFORD plea.The alford plea is a pleading of guilty in a plea bargain in which the defendant maintains his or her innocence, and the only reason he pleaded was when he tried getting the evidence he needed to prove he did not do this it was denied to him, something you would have thought his so called attorney would have retrieved in the first place. I take that back, his attorney did have the information and more but he did not do his job, instead he kept it hidden. It's a bad thing when your own retained attorney seems to be doing more for the prosecutor then his own client.

Luke Stidham

This is to everyone who made ill comments here against Mr Stidham.
****Stay Tuned*** Because this is not the ending to this story. I believe everyone will be shocked to fnd out what "really" happed and how certain evidence was never presented but hidden even from Mr Stidham.Better beware, this could happen to you. After all, once you have been accused you are in the eyes of the public guilty....

BSL Citizens, Do You Really Want To Know?

If you want answers to your questions then I suggest you go to this site, It gives the contacts by email and home phone for the Mayor as well as all the commissioners and the town manager. The one exception is the new councilman that is not listed yet. However, he had nothing to do with what has gone on in the last year. Some things you may want to inquire about as to the police department. Is it true when the current Chief of Police was hired that, the only two town officials that had any say so about this was then Mayor, Joan Kinney and town Manger David Lewis? Was it also true that both Kinney and Lewis left in the dark, and/or did not discuss this hiring in any official capacity with any other town council member? Were they, Kinney and Lewis, aware there were allegations against that person, Ballree, at his previous home and position? Now, to be fair to Ballree, it has been found by the state there is no "probable cause" to take action on those allegations. But, that determination came over a year after the allegations were made because Ballree himself REFUSED to face them at his old post! Therefore, is it true that the taxpayers of BSL paid for all time and efforts for Ballree to defend himself on a matter that was not cleared BEFORE Kinney and Lewis made the hire? Is it true, that a background investigation on Ballree fully disclosed to Kinney and Lewis that Ballree would be bringing and adult felon (his son) to live with him inside the BSL city limits? Also, is it true that the felony committed was the steeling of firearms from the police department in Mount Olive that Ballree was chief of at the time? Is it true that in the end the felonious son only received probation? And, is that not out of the ordinary for sentencing for steeling firearms? In short, did Ballree use his position to make sentencing liter on his son? Is it true, that further in the background investigation it was revealed that Ballree had filed for protection under the federal bankruptcy laws and then was hired to look after a police department with a budget in the area of one half million dollars? Is it true that Ballree has used a town car for personal use since being hired as Chief of Police here? Further, if allegations were made to the SBI with evidence to such, would he be willing to take a polygraph stating that he has not? Think about this one long and hard Chief Ballree! And, Joan and David! More to do with the BSL Police Department, Is it true that Ballree is taking into consideration the hire a person with questionable liabilities including a wife that has been put on probation for "forgery and uttering"? Is it true that knowing the background of the above the Chief still spent hundreds of dollars in the required testing (mental, drug, etc.) for the same? As to the latest tax spending waste, Is it true, that David Lewis has given the OK for office workers for the town of BSL to order new desks, chairs, you name it, to go in the new town hall? And, why not just move the old ones? Some may call the above rumors. I believe them to be facts! All it takes is for the citizens to call and ask to find out. Better yet, ask them to give you an answer in writing. Believe me or not. Just go to the web site get the info and make the calls asking the questions. DEMAND ANSWERS IN WRITTING! Decide for yourself. Lastly, thank you my friend for showing me how to find all these things and how to find the truth. I have no idea if WWAY will print this. I have tried for quite a while to get the larger questions that many of us have out. This may be my last attempt. But, if it gets printed, take the time to make the calls. We deserve to know, one way or the other.

I'm afraid

I believe you because you have writing so much information and things seem to be going wrong all over today. I don't know why the people se elected are doing this way. I am afraid to ask them about this because as dirty as they are the police mite be following me around after that. I did write the Southport paper about all this stuff and they mite do something. I don't know. I hope others were not afraid like me and asked.

brunswick county IS a joke

brunswick county keeps a convicted registered sex offender on their payroll. that's hilarious!!!!!!!!!! more importantly, and seriously, it's very scary, since all brunswick county employees work in and throughout our community. criminal backround checks are performed upon initial employment, but whatever you do once you're on their payroll doesn't seem to matter. remember this when you vote for your county commissioners.

BSL Is Worse Than The County!

It does in fact get worse than the county. At BSL the do nothing town officials have eyes only for their brand new town hall. Gazing at their crown jewel while wearing blinders they see nothing else and they care about nothing else! If you have been dismayed and disappointed so far just wait. It is going to continue to get worse! Shame on those worthless do nothings!

Brunswick County is a joke

Brunswick County is a joke and New Hanover is not far behind. bye!!!!

Neither one of these counties are a joke. There are bad apples anywhere you want to roam. I happen to love this place and appreciate the good things the local police do to keep it safe here. Who do you think caught this guy anyway, another pedophile? While not an excuse, there is evidence that the 14 yr old has been practicing "less than admirable" behavior, to say it nicely. This is a very nice place where we get to live and I'm happy they were able to catch this guy, but if you don't like it here, or the way we do it here, don't forget to explore I-40 West and pretend it's one-way! Bye!!!

Guilty or railroaded?

I have know Luke since he was nine years old. I have yet to see any proof that this so called rape occurred. You are right about one thing though, that is there are bad apples every where. Including a judge that claims to uphold the law and doesn't even let someone be properly represented. This has become one of this states worse cases of justice being served that I have ever seen. By the way, I have seen quite a bit since my husband has been in law enforcement for seventeen years. This just makes it less safe for him out there. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING SUPPORTIVE OF CIRCUMSTANCIAL EVIDENCE AND NOT THE TRUTH!!!! Personally, I would like to know the truth and not heresay from someone who is less than trustworthy. That is why we have trial by jury, just one judge that thinks he is GOD. Just so everyone involved in this that actually knows nothing about anyone involved there is an old saying, "What goes around comes around." and if someone can get by with doing this to someone like Luke, trust me you are not safe either.

"Guilty your honor"

Luke had a chance to stand trial. He CHOSE to plead guilty to avoid all the evidence against being made public. He KNOWS what he did and knows it was wrong. His first attorney told him to plea and he fired him. He tried it again with this attorney and wanted ANOTHER continuance. Denied. Face the facts. Innocent people don't plead to crimes they didn't do. He is guilty as sin. I hate it for his family. They have to deal with this. As far as his sentence, I do think it is too light. That is typical for someone who will admit guilt and save the taxpayers money for a trial and having to support them in prison for long periods of time. He could have gone for 73-92 months just on the 2nd degree rape. He got the low end of the structured sentence. He could have faced up to 16-20 months for EACH indecent liberties. That is a total of 107-132 months or 9 years 11 months to 11 years in prison. A guily man needs to decide, do I want out in 4 1/2 years or 10 years. I dont think that would be a tough decision. Now this is over and BSL Police Department came wipe this off and move forward.

"Luke had a chance to stand

"Luke had a chance to stand trial. He CHOSE to plead guilty to avoid all the evidence against being made public. He KNOWS what he did and knows it was wrong. His first attorney told him to plea and he fired him. He tried it again with this attorney and wanted ANOTHER continuance. Denied. Face the facts. Innocent people don't plead to crimes they didn't do. He is guilty as sin"

Are kidding? Evidence, what evidence? Oh, you must mean the results of te DNA for Semen that came back NEGATIVE.Wait a minute, did you mean all the witnesses interviewed by the state? Couldn't be that, everyone of those would have been in favor of Mr Stidham.I bet you were talking about the Forensic Exam of Mr Stidhams computer. the one the state said in open court "Was never ordered" I'm sorry, twice the state said that in open court. It couldn't be that because according to a fax from the state to the defence attorney they would be getting the results from that exam the next day, and this was a month BEFORE trial.I bet you were talking about all the statements made that this girl had a history of accusing others of the same if they ticked her off. Nope, I bet the evidence that yr alking about is when she tried taking her taking 8 freaking Tylonals. Yeah, yr right, I can't see anyone wanting all that evidence open to the public, the thing is the ony one I would think wouldn't want this public would be the state. Get access to and find out for yr self..

Except for your Chief

I agree with almost everything you say except, your department still has a pall over it and will continue to have as long as Ballree is Chief. Questionable conduct while Chief at Mount Olive. Brought a felon to our town. Is not fiscally stable in his own financial affairs and running a .5million department. No, your department is far from moving forward. Your gutless town manager and town officials could fix that but, they choose to keep their heads in the sand. After all, to do something about it would be to admit to a mistake. That is just something no one at BSL has the guts to do.


Luke Stidham stood in a court of law and said he was guilty. What more does anyone need to know than that? As far as not having representation, that is a joke. Luke Stidham had two years from the time he was charged to the time he entered the courtroom. How much time does it take to decide on an attorney? Luke Stidham could have elected to have a trial and argued his case before a jury of his peers. He did not! Even if there was something to the late coming allegation that he was not being represented as he should he still could have elected for a trial and with that election he would have had the option to appeal on the grounds of not being properly represented. If there was any truth to that allegation, he would have gotten another trial. There are no appeals to a guilty plea. He knew that when he opted to take the plea. So, with all of the above being true, if Luke Stidham was railroaded it was because he was the conductor of the engine!

Learn more before u judge.

Learn more before u judge. Mr Stidham had a attorney for the entire 2 years, a attorney who had enough evidence to prove Mr Stidham did not comit this crime but for some reason he didn't use it. Every piece of so called evidence that the state had showed to be in favor of Mr Stidham. Get access to and get a clue!!!!

You people ever heard of

You people ever heard of Pleading under Duress? That is exactly what happened to him. Do your own actual research. The alleged "rape" never happened. I agree that if a grown man were to have any relations with a child that they should rot, but he did not do anything with her. He had no relationship with her other than policeman-citizen. PLease stop believing whatever the news reports. Where I'm from the News just reported that there was no Gas in the State of NC at all. Guess what that was false.THINK

Dear friend of a pedophile

You are an idiot! NO ONE PLEADS GUILTY TO THIS KIND OF A CRIME UNLESS THE ARE GUILTY! This is the biggie. This is the one that stays with you forever. Duress????? There can not be more duress than the pall of this on your head for LIFE! So, friend, family member or just stupidly blind. Don't insult us with your "he did not do it" plea now. Hard for me to decide who is the bigger idiot. Luke for doing WHAT HE DID!Or, you, for thinking anyone would believer your lame and I mean very lame excuses for him.

You need to get a life its

You need to get a life its people like you ("Gene") that need to rot in hell. I honestly hope you believe in karma cause if you do I feel sorry for you and your family. You seriously need to get a life and grow up!

What is going on in this world!

Oh my gracious what a horible, horible man! And you say there is a fire man that did the same thing to her? How in the world did he get out with just this little jail time and what about that fire man did they just let him go? If my mama or daddy would have caught me or my sister when we were just 14 with a grown man he would have killed that man and then he would have skint me alive. That horrible man was the police to. The paper said some stuff about the police chief and his son was a criminal and now they say the police is going to hire someone else that breaks the law and his family to! Why are the town thinking like that? We need to be protected from bad people and our children to. People in this town should be mad about all this and somebody like the mayor or somebody should be doing something about this. There is something bad wrong with what them elected people are doing. I feel sorry for that little girl and her mama and daddy.

I am a cop myself and this

I am a cop myself and this kind of stuff is depressing to read. I work very hard to maintain a respectful reputation like a cop should. I went through my wild days when I was younger but I calmed down.As a cop, you are held to a higher standard, something that seems to be a thing of the past. It is disgusting to see officers making such poor decisions.Even more disgusting is the district attorneys and judges allowing these plea agreements to take place. I grew up respecting law enforcement and I think it is a shame that so many officers are being arrested for drug dealing, sex acts w/ minors, breaking and entering, embezzlement,D.W.I,etc. All this in the past year!!! At times I don't want to be a part of law enforcement b/c of the actions of bad cops. There are alot of good, hard working cops out there who are tired of being put in the same category as the bad ones! As for the bad ones, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO OBEY THE LAW, GET OUT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND LEAVE IT UP TO THE REAL PROFESSIONALS!!! I feel that officers should get the maximum penalty for breaking the law they/we enforce! We are no better than the public. We are not above the law!

Keep at it!

I am sure there are days that are very hard on you but, as long as you feel they way you have stated, please keep at it. We need you and appreciate you good cops! Besides, if the good apples leave then we are left with only the rotten ones. Thank you for all you and every other officer does, every day.

Thank you!!!! You are right!

Thank you!!!! You are right!

Who knows what was going

Who knows what was going through their minds. When I was 14, I was learning about boys and l wanted someone to like me, if I put out, I was liked. It usually came from older guys because they knew how to "sweet talk". This world is a crazy place and with out supportive family and friends, low self-esteem will bring one to a chatroom looking for something their missing. I am speaking of the man and the little girl. I now have 3 children, two are teens. We eat dinner every night at the kitchen table, their friends are always welcome over the house, and I am active in each school as a volunteer. I do this so they know I care and to support them through this crazy time of life. I pray that my children never go looking for attention in a chat room. I can only guide them to make the right choices, I can't do it for them. I feel for the families involed, they did ask to be apart of any of this


Now maybe they will go after that sexual preditor firefighter at Boiling Spring Lakes fire department. He was involved in this as well. They need to get him off the streets now, before he targets another under age girl.

Those who live in glass houses....

I am so glad to see that there are still so many good Christians in Brunswick County that enjoy passing judgment. Did you ever stop to think that a plea offer of 4 1/2 years was offered because the DA felt that they did not have enough solid evidence to get a conviction. Mr. Stidham did not exercise good morals and judgment of his own, Maybe the alleged victim had some morality issues of her own that could have impeached her testimony on the stand. Please remember that there are three sides to every story. The accuser's, the accused's and the TRUTH. I certainly will not make any excuses for Mr. Stidham's behavior but I will not stand in judgment of him without knowing the facts and it is likely that we will never know the whole story because it involves a minor. My thoughts and prayers are with the families, both his and hers.

Glass houses?

The truth of the matter is that she is a minor, he should not have any thoughts towards her sexually, mentally etc. He is an adult he should have told her no if that's the case. He knew the law and he broke it. And there must have been enough evidence for them to let him plea. He is guilty and he knows it. And now he must serve his time and register as a sex offender. He did it to himself.

The victims’ morals have

The victims’ morals have nothing to do with this. She is a 14 year old girl. It wouldn’t matter if it was a 24 year old dressed like a hooker. NO WOMEN deserves to have this done to her. It is in no way her fault. And if you believe that you are as ignorant as the DA who let him have the deal. I hope he gets what he deserves in prison because I do not believe this man got the time he deserves. This child is going to have to live with this memory for the rest of her life, and it is not something that is easy to deal with every day when you look in the mirror and you can still feel the filth on your skin. I hope this girl gets the counseling she needs to deal with what she has been through.


She has no filth on her skin. The "victim" if I recall was going along willingly with their little affair on Myspace and was also having sex with OTHER older men. 14 year olds are quite capable of seducing men and they feel powerful doing it. Why is it so hard for some of you to think that she was willing and enjoyed it. Perhaps she is a hooch. Either way this man was out of his mind for even talking to her in a sexual manner and should be punished. I doubt there was a rape involved but underage sex, yes.

As you said she could have

As you said she could have been willing and enjoyed it. He was found guilty of second degree rape. Not statutory rape. If she had been "willing" he would not have been charge with Second Degree Rape. And he took a plea bargain. Rape in the Second Degree: (1) A person is guilty of rape in the second degree when, under circumstances not constituting rape in the first degree, the person engages in sexual intercourse with another person: (a) By forcible compulsion; (b) When the victim is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated; (c) When the victim is a person with a developmental disability and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who: (i) Has supervisory authority over the victim; or (ii) Was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense; (d) When the perpetrator is a health care provider, the victim is a client or patient, and the sexual intercourse occurs during a treatment session, consultation, interview, or examination. It is an affirmative defense that the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the client or patient consented to the sexual intercourse with the knowledge that the sexual intercourse was not for the purpose of treatment; (e) When the victim is a resident of a facility for persons with a mental disorder or chemical dependency and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and has supervisory authority over the victim; or (f) When the victim is a frail elder or vulnerable adult and the perpetrator is a person who is not married to the victim and who: (i) Has a significant relationship with the victim; or (ii) Was providing transportation, within the course of his or her employment, to the victim at the time of the offense.

"If she had been willing he

"If she had been willing he would not have been charged with 2nd degree rape" Have you read the transcript on ths case? The state said, she was depressed because he cut off all ties and she thought he got what he wanted out of the relationship" First of all I do not believe there was a sexual event at all but if there were how can you say it was against her will one minute and the next yr saying there was a relationship? The state lied in open court and I have seen the documents proving this.

This guy is a petifile and undeserving of this plea bargain!

Fishers Wife, your position that eludes fault on the victim in this case sickens me almost as much as the crime the rapists committed and by the way stood in a court room and out of his own mouth said, "guilty your honor!" The fact remains if the accused and now the convicted really believed he did nothing wrong he could have taken his chances in a trial and judged by his peers. If my math is right at the time He was 36 and she was 14! A 14 year old child! There is no circumstance that could ever lesson the weight of the criminal act of this mature man taking indecent liberties with a child of that age. NOT ONE! Think back to when you were 14. Most of us at that age thought we knew it all and adults were just a bunch of old fogies. Now looking back we all see how little we knew at that age. This poor child is the victim and can not be and should not be held accountable in any way! I don't know her, would not recognize her if she were standing beside me but, I do know at 14 she did not stand a chance when being pursued by a 36 year old man. A law enforcement officer no less! He is a disgrace to himself and all law enforcement! No one in this blog is casting judgement. They, and I are simply voicing our disgust over an admitted pedophile. Judgment was passed in a court of law when he admitted his guilt. As far as why he got off so easy and easy he did get, frankly, I am surprised that Rex Gore did not allow him to plea to driving left of center! I blame the prosecution for going to soft. If this sicko had been over in another county I do not believe he would have been given this kind of deal. To think he wanted to fire his attorney! With this "bargain" he should get on his knees and kiss his attorney's butt. That is, right after he got through kissing Rex Gore's butt! As far as the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department goes, it has become a joke since Chief White left. The current Chief with his questionable background has just put on a new officer that not only has convictions for passing worthless checks but is married to a women currently on parole for forgery and uttering! If it were not so sad it would be funny at what the town of BSL and the Police Department will accept for employment. Not only are the citizens subjected to this but the good cops that work and serve BSL are unduly soiled by this. Back to this case, I feel sorry for the victim and not the sick pedophile that committed the crime. I am amazed at the restraint of the father of the victim. It would have been understandable if the pedophile had never made it to trial and the father of the victim ended up charged with a crime. That may have been justice on one hand but it would have been even more tragedy for the victim and her family. Now you somehow would white wash this and down play the guilt of this sick pedophile. You would try to past some shadow of blame on this 14 year old child. Someone I just met in the last few months told me something and I can not think of a better case to apply the saying to. "No matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you work at it, you simply can not polish a turd."