Johnston Co. trio charged in abuse by prostitution


    SMITHFIELD, NC (AP) — A man and two women from Johnston County
    have been accused of a scheme where the man paid for rough sex with
    a 15-year-old girl.

    The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that 62-year-old Johnny
    Franklin Thornton was charged this week with of first-degree rape,
    conspiracy, assault and other crimes.
    Sheriff’s investigators say Thornton paid 41-year-old Teresa
    Ashworth Page to rape and abuse the girl between September and May.

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    Page is charged with felony child abuse by prostitution.

    Thornton’s daughter-in-law, 23-year-old Tina Leigh Tucker, is
    accused of helping with the assault and is charged with conspiracy
    and other counts.

    All three are in jail. It wasn’t clear if they have attorneys.

    Thornton is scheduled to be in court July 21 and the women on
    July 28.

    (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)