NE man sent to jail for raping foster children

Stokes

A North­east Phil­adelphia man was sen­tenced on Monday to spend the next 30 to 60 years be­hind bars for rap­ing three of his fam­ily’s foster chil­dren re­peatedly over an 11-year peri­od.

Ger­ald Stokes, 25, was a child him­self when he began as­sault­ing the first vic­tim in 2003 and ’04 when she was 8 and 9 years old. The girl found a new home in 2005, but Stokes’ fam­ily soon took a second foster daugh­ter, whom Stokes raped re­peatedly for about a year un­til she reached age 16 and moved out. In 2007, the fam­ily ad­op­ted a 9-year-old whom Stokes raped re­peatedly over the en­su­ing six years.

The Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice did not re­veal the spe­cif­ic loc­a­tions of the crimes, but Stokes is lis­ted in court re­cords as a res­id­ent of the 19111 ZIP code.

Com­mon Pleas Court Judge Car­o­lyn H. Nich­ols handed down the sen­tence after presid­ing over Stokes’ tri­al last Oc­to­ber, when a jury con­victed him of mul­tiple counts of child rape, for­cible rape, un­law­ful con­tact with a minor and cor­rup­tion of a minor. All three vic­tims test­i­fied dur­ing the case.

“The cour­age of these three vic­tims along with Judge Nich­ols’ sen­tence will en­sure that Mr. Stokes nev­er harms an­oth­er child,” As­sist­ant DA Bran­wen McNabb said in a prin­ted state­ment.

The crimes came to light in 2013 when the most re­cent vic­tim re­vealed her ab­use at school dur­ing a present­a­tion about sexu­al ab­use. The teen then re­por­ted it to Stokes’ moth­er, who helped her re­port it to po­lice. The two oth­er vic­tims later came for­ward. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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