A Wilmington teen faces rape and kidnapping charges in connection with the sexual assault of a teen-age girl inside a building at Cape Fear Community College’s downtown campus in November 2015.
Jahreese Melquan Jones, 18, was served with warrants Wednesday while in custody at the New Hanover County Jail, according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Cathryn Lindsay.
The victim was inside a campus building at 402 N. Front St., where a male suspect sexually assaulted her in the stairwell at about 6 p.m. on Nov. 12, 2015. The suspect left the scene and the teen victim reported the incident “right away,” Lindsay said.
The evening of the incident, the college sent out an email and text about the incident to the student body and faculty, according to the college.
“We want to reassure our staff and students that we take security very seriously. And we are committed to providing a safe learning environment for them,” CFCC spokeswoman Rachel Nadeau said.
The sexual assault incident is not a usual case at the college, CFCC Police Chief Dan Wilcox said. Along with making improvements to the campus environment – removing large shrubs and trees to increase campus outside visibility – the agency has been working to increase patrols both on the streets and inside campus buildings.
At the time of the incident, Wilcox said a campus officer was able to respond to the incident within moments. The incident was reported on campus, but the investigation was turned over to detectives with the Wilmington Police Department, since the on-campus police department does not currently have the manpower to investigate this type of violent crime, Wilcox said. The chief added that the police department will provide an officer to escort a student, faculty or staff member, regardless of the time, day or night.
The Wilmington Police Department’s investigation led detectives to charge Jones months later, Lindsay said.
Jones originally faced prostitution charges in connection with an incident in the 100 block of Haywood Drive on Nov. 18, 2015, Lindsay said. Officers were dispatched to a suspicious vehicle in the area. When they arrived at the scene, a male and female exited the vehicle. Officers arrested Jones and booked him in jail.
Jones has been charged with prostitution, second-degree rape, second-degree kidnapping, resisting a public officer and three counts of a misdemeanor probation violation, jail records show. According to the N.C. Department of corrections, he was previously convicted of six misdemeanors, including possession of a firearm by a minor, larceny after breaking and entering, and breaking and entering.
With the additional sexual assault charges, Jones is now being held under a $1.05 million secured bond.