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News WCU student charged with statutory rape

Jonathan Tyler PittsJackson authorities are investigating the case of a 14-year-old white female who was reportedly raped earlier this month.

The incident occurred on Sept. 8 in the Sylva area, according to reports, which resulted in the subsequent arrest of suspect, 19-year-old Jonathan Tyler Pitts on Sept. 15.

“In this case, the investigation has determined the suspect made friends with the victim via the internet social networking site, Facebook,” reads a statement released by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office last Friday. “Further investigation has determined the name used during this correspondence was an alias used by the suspect to avoid detection.”

According to JCSO authorities, the investigation revealed that the suspect was using other aliases on Facebook in order to avoid detection. Other potential victims may be in the Jackson County area, the release stated. Pitts, formerly of Morganton, was a sophomore at Western Carolina University.

The other aliases reportedly used by Pitts are Will McNeil, Mike Williams, Blake Nicholas and Tyler Duncan. Authorities state that the alleged pattern of activity may have been going on for more than a year.

JCSO is urging any potential victims or witnesses to contact Detective Charles Crisp at 828-586-1382.

Pitts is currently in Jackson County custody under a $150,000 secured bond on one count of statutory rape.


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