Troubleshooters: Teen molested by uncle upset at lack of penalty
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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- In this week’s Troubleshooters report, we have an unusual story about a local 16-year-old who was molested by his uncle. He's upset with Bladen County authorities, over the way they handled the case. Even though the uncle was convicted of engaging in a sex act with the teen, he's serving no active jail time, and will not be required to register as a sex offender. Making matters worse, the victim was arrested too, at school, in front of his friends.

Because of his age, and the nature of the story, we won't identify the teenage victim in this case.
We're going to call him Matthew. He and his sister were staying with their uncle, Jerry Squires, for a few weeks last summer while their mom was out of state. Squires is a respected member of the Bladen County community, and before this happened, he served as the head deacon of Natmoore Baptist Church.

Matthew says on several occasions while staying with his uncle, Squires made inappropriate advances towards him, and ultimately forced him to engage in sex acts. "After I told him no, that's when he grabbed my like this (puts his hands around his throat), and he said if you tell anybody, he said he would kill me and chop my genitals off," Matthew recalled. "I was wondering why. I mean, he was like a father figure to me, and the whole time, I kept blaming myself, maybe it's me, maybe it's me.”

Matthew says his uncle told him the sex acts were payment for staying under his roof. After Matthew's mom got back to town, he says he broke down and told his family what had happened.
"The whole time, I was thinking I was going to hell, and you know, God would never forgive me - how could he forgive me for something like this"

Matthew's family convinced him to go to the authorities. He told his story to Detective Sue Lutz with the Bladen County Sheriff's Office, and says right off the bat, he got the feeling he wasn't being taken seriously. "She told me that even though I was choked and he threatened my life, that he did not have a weapon, a gun, knife, shovel, something physical, so basically, it was consensual,” Matthew said of his conversation with Det. Lutz.

Matthew says he was told if he pressed charges against his uncle, he would be arrested too for engaging in the sex act. So Matthew opted not to press charges. A few months later, out of the blue, Matthew says a sheriff's deputy showed up at his school to arrest him. "I got arrested, put behind bars, I was the one that was facing 15 months. It was like everything was happening to me - but he was the one that did everything. But it was like, I'm the victim here, I'm the one that came forward, but y'all are punishing me for it."

Squires was also charged with a sex offense while in a parental role. When the case was handed over to the District Attorney's office, the assistant prosecutor quickly decided to drop the charges against Matthew. “Based upon what I thought, as opposed to maybe what the charging officer did, I felt it was in the best interest of justice to dismiss the case against the young man - and to proceed on the adult,” explained prosecutor Elaine Kelley.

Jerry Squires was indicted by a grand jury, but before the case went to trial, the prosecutor offered him a plea deal, and Squires pleaded guilty to Crimes Against Nature.

Although Matthew told us what happened with his uncle was not consensual, the detective said it was. That's what she wrote in her report that she handed to the D.A. "I look at what I'm going to be able to use to convince 12 reasonable people in this community - unanimously, of someone's guilt,” explained Kelley. “The willingness of the victim to participate, according to what my evidence was, played a strong role in [offering the plea].”

But according to the law, even if Matthew had agreed, consent is no defense to sexual activity by a substitute parent. Even though the prosecutor secured a felony conviction, Jerry Squires was not required to serve any active jail time, nor is he required to register as a sex offender. The victims family says that's not good enough.

“They protected the criminal, and I'm very, very angry. I want this man behind bars,” Matthew’s mother told us.

The prosecutors office never interviewed Matthew for themselves about what happened.
Matthew's family is also concerned because they say Squires has a relative who works in the Bladen County Sheriff's Office, and several employees of the Sheriff's Department are members of Squires’ church.

We spoke to officials with the Bladen County Sheriff's Department about the victims concerns, and had hoped for some kind of response by now, but we didn't get one. Jerry Squires declined our request for an interview.

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I don't know if Jerry Squires did the things that he is being accused of doing but DO NOT bring his family into this. There is nothing wrong for him to be close to his son. Do you have children are you close to them...if so you may be a child molester! Hmmm...how would you like that if someone put that on the internet about you and your family. You should be ashamed of yourself and your words!!!!

First of all he amitted to doing these acts there is no guessing to if he did, HE DID because he signed and stated he is guilty of this charge. And for someone to stand up for him needs (JESUS) JUST LIKE HE DOES. If jerry squires is a true christian and was a close friend then he should have come and repented to GOD and the vitimn and to his family. Signed by:(MOTHER OF MATTHEW).

How can you say that you dont know if jerry squires did this.He said that he did.I guess you are just another supporter 4 child molesters.there is nothing wrong with him being close 2 his soon.But him being a CHILD MOLESTER YOU CANT HELP BUT 2 THINK WHAT HE HAS DONE 2 his children or anyone elses child.and for your little comment about "what if someone put it on internet about my family".Well guess what Jerry Squires is my family.What he did was VERY WRONG and he should be punished.You should be ashamed for standing up for this SICK MAN.I bet you would be singing a different tune if he molested your child.

I am "Matthew" I want to thank all of you for all of your support. I am very grateful for Ann McAdams covering this story and giving me a voice. As in response to me changing my story I have kept it straight since I have come forward. The main reason why I came forward was to be an example to other males who have been molested and to let them know that you need to come forward!!!! You don't have to tell the police as long as someone knows what happened. I also came forward to warn other parents about JERRY SQUIRES. Also to prevent something like this happening to someone smaller. I have one more thing to add Jerry was not arrested at all his nephew a detective called his house and was told to come down to the sheriff department he had a warrent out for his arrest that he needed to come down to the station to post bond. Again Thanks for all your support.

Matthew, your courage is to be applauded. You should never concern yourself with being in the wrong or going to hell.....you are the victim here.....Jerry Squires is the predator/criminal that committed offenses against you, the law, his family and his 'religion'. This whole thing has been a sham on Bladen County Sheriffs Dept...you have been very brave for going forward with this and I wll stand behind you and support you anyway that I can. I have 2 teens, I am a Kelly resident and I cant begin to tell you how ANGRY I am that our Sheriffs Dept has treated you thusly, as far as I am concerned they are criminals as well now.
I hope that you are able to put this behind you, you are a child and you are not responsible for what was done TO you...Jerry Squires is and he needs to be held accountable for it...not left to piddle around at the church and walk the streets freely.

Matthew, I am so sorry that this horrible man, a wolf in sheep's clothing, was able to deceive his own family and community so convincingly that you were such easy prey for him.
As a stranger in Kelly, I told my son, "that is Jerry Squires, if he ever comes here and you are alone, do not answer the door, if he ever lays a hand on you, do whatever you have to do to defend yourself and it will be okay."
I am trembling and crying as I type this, Matthew, I am sorry that no one told you this.
The worst part is that I live within walking distance of JS' home. You could have come here, where you would have been safe. You still can. I live in the "garden".

Whats wrong with these ppl on facebook that are supporting Jerry Squires.They are saying how Jerrys nephew is telling lies.Well i got news 4 you Jerry Squires ADMITTED 2 it.Him not wanting to go on camrea and defend hisself lets you know he is Guilty.it makes me mad knowing he is out walking free like he never done anything wrong.Whos to say he want do this 2 another family member or just any child.Im so glad they put his picture on news so everybody could see what this MONSTER looks like.JERRY SQUIRES should have 2 stand beside the road holding a sign telling what kind of MONSTER he really is.He is a low life and so are the ppl that are supporting him.

Having met the man, I have to ask?
Frankly, for anyone who might be wondering why I didn't join the church when I joined the community...this, this is why, this is who you allowed to represent you.
I have a son this kid's age, and frankly, I'd rather give a hobo a $100 to let my son live under a bridge with him for the summer than to spend ANY time with Jerry Squires!

The detective said...
"I look at what I'm going to be able to use to convince 12 reasonable people in this community - unanimously, of someone's guilt"
I don't think that would be a problem....you only need 11 more...

This is Sick!! This man needs to be fully punished not only for the horrible crime but for using the church for a cover up and misleading "some" people...

What a sick man.. NASTY NASTY.. He should be forced to register as a SEX OFFENDER...
I would NEVER let this man near my kids.. He needs to pull jail time over this.. Get this man out of the Kelly community... NOW!!! He is SICK... YUCK...

NASTY NASTY.... he should have to register as a sex offender.. that's CRAZY.. I don't want him NO WHERE near my child.. HE IS A SICK MAN TO DO THIS TO ANYONE.. he should have to pull jail time for this as well...

Was something not just in the news about a young man killing his abuser??? Wake up people!! He is 16 years old!! Consenual my A*@!! If this was a 16 year old girl the uncle would be in jail. Arrested at school??? Was the uncle arrested at work or church??? What is going on here???

I wonder if "Matthew" had been a girl would the outcome have been different?

you know these laws are crazy someone can rape and kill someone and they get a few month in jail and then get patted on the back and basically told got do it again my opioin is they need to blow there behind away because anybody that is molested has been damage for life there is no letting something like that go.................

This is so sick. How are you going to let someone get away with something like this. Its a shame that while some people that there are innocent sitting behind bars while a some who commits crimes walks free.

1st off had this been a girl who was the victim they never woulda been charged intially by an idiotic deputy who obviously has no clue what sexual molestation is or the like. 2ndly had it been a female victim Im pretty sure the uncle would have definitely done jail time and even if not he would have been registered as a sex offender for the minimum 10yr period. This is a prime example of the dbl standard that exists in reverse with male victims of sexual abuse/assault and it needs to stop now. Why is it always ok if its a male victim but even at times females can make up stories and the accused is brandished even if not guilty. Why is a male victim any less traumatized by the molestation then a female. This is a black mark on society as a whole Im afaid. Heck if it had been a female offender I wonder if the accused would have even been charged at all.

The Good Old Boys network is alive & well. It is unbelievable and appalling that this man is allowed to get away with this. I hope justice is served.

He obviously has some close ties with members of the Brunswick Sheriff's Office. It's too bad the Deputies there are concerned more about keeping their friend out of trouble than sticking to their oath to uphold the law and make sure justice is served to the best of their ability.

this happened in Bladen not Brunswick

Doesn't this just take the cake!! Come on DA's office....where is the justice in this??? Regardless of consent here....which I whole heartedly do not believe, this is a 16 year old kid, having sexual relations with a family member that was playing the role of caregiver!!
Tell me please Mr.DA/ADA...do families have any say when it comes to offering plea agreements to the criminal that violates/harms their children or loved-ones? This is a classic example why many victims fail to come forward. This is a classic example why people end up taking the law into their own hands.
I am in NO way endorsing breaking the law, but people with dwi's and dwlr's get tougher sentences. We don't want to hear the excuse...."statute reads"...we want to hear "justice calls for". Do your job Gore and ensure what little time you have left in office, you make a change in your "business as usual" and do what is right for the people.
I would also like to ask if Mr. Squires could have been charged with statutory rape? It seems to me that this office is more interested in prosecuting boyfriend/girlfriend cases when one is slightly underage and gives full consent than one as sad as this! That is right, it boils down to who you know.

"Tell me please Mr.DA/ADA...do families have any say when it comes to offering plea agreements to the criminal that violates/harms their children or loved-ones?"

As messed up as this all is, according to the CJ System, NO, families dont have any say in the matter of a plea bargain. Thats actually part of the documented advantages/disadvantages of a plea bargain in a CJ Class in college...

I agree it is very apparent that who you know came into play in this case. Lord help Mr Squires if any of the law enforcement officers have 16 year old sons that he decides to have "consentual sex" with. I bet he would never be seen or heard of again!!

Thats what happens our system fails us and then on to the next child.Lets hope that the ones who helped him never has this to happen to their child.I am a person who has been sexually assaulted so i feel this young mans pain.

That is just about the sickest saddest thing I have ever read. I can't even imagine the amount of courage it took to come foward. I just want Matthew to know that because of his unbelievable bravery in the face of what I can only describe as wolves at his door (and I am speaking of both the uncle and the Bladen county justice system) he may inspire others who have suffered in similiar circumstances to come foward. The world is better because you are in it. I am so sorry for your pain. It is inspiring the way you are moving through it.

This Squires guy makes me sick to my stomach. He should be behind bars and out of that church. The people who are covering for him would feel differently if that man sexually molested their child. And who knows how many boys that Creep Squires has molested. Why don't they look into that? Instead of covering for that Creep!

can someone tell me why he is not consider a sex offender?

i just cannot believe this. well, yes i can. around here..the whole tri county area..it is who you know. and corruption within...who is doing who favors. i have a son facing years in prison for something so stupid you just wouldnt believe it. and this guy walks free. amazing. someone needs to step up in this area and put a stop to all the corruption.