Rape suspect claims innocence

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 2, 2006

PENDLETON – David William Stephenson said he is an innocent man.

Responding to his recent arrest on second-degree rape charges, Stephenson stressed that he feels as though he is the victim.

“I think someone is using this as an attempt to get reelected at my expense,” he said. “I thought that you are innocent until proven guilty. In my case, it’s the other way around. Someone feels that I am guilty until I can prove my innocence.”

According to Northampton County Sheriff Wardie Vincent, a call came in to his office Sunday from a young woman who alleged she had been raped by an acquaintance.

The victim was taken to Roanoke-Chowan Hospital where she was treated. Meanwhile, an investigation by Northampton Sheriff’s Detective Brenda Burnette resulted in Stephenson’s arrest.

But Stephenson, age 34 who resides at 1067 Deloatch Mill Road, flatly denied sexually assaulting the alleged victim.

“I opened up my house to this woman and her family because they didn’t have anywhere to go,” he said. “Folks will tell you that’s the kind of man I am….a kind and big-hearted man who will try to help anyone in need.”

Stephenson said he had hired an attorney.

“I can’t say but so much because of the legal situation, but I will tell you that I did not rape this woman,” he concluded. “I made the front page news and now people are making me out like a monster. I didn’t do it. I’m an innocent man.”

Following the arrest, Stephenson was taken to the Northampton County Jail. He said he was able to post his $10,000 bond prior to being placed behind bars.