Tonight we can shed some new light on the controversy surrounding State Senator R.C. Soles and his clients.
We’ve heard from many people offering information and alleging numerous things. At least two of the young men we spoke with were subpoenaed before a grand jury in Raleigh. They say they were questioned about whether they had a sexual relationship with Senator Soles.
Another man contacted us about his previous relationship with R.C. Soles. He raises serious allegations dating back more than 30 years, to a time when he was 13 years old.
The man claims he didn’t even know who R.C. Soles was the first time the two met.
He’s asked that we keep his identity private, so we will refer to him as “Jay”.
WWAY’s Joe Mauceri talked to Jay. Due to the nature of the discussion, we would advise parents that the subjects discussed may be troubling to younger viewers.
JAY: Just saw me one day, tooted his horn, rolled his window down and told me to get in.
It’s been more than 30 years since Jay met RC Soles. He was just 13 years old when he says Soles molested him.
WWAY’s JOE MAUCERI: How did you feel when this was happening?
JAY: How do you think? I mean I was appalled and socially embarrassed and psychologically scarred. Coming from an area like Tabor City, well that’s not exactly the kind of thing that you would talk about.
Jay says that Soles molested him on more than one occasion, but he was too scared to come forward.
JOE: Did you think you would be punished as a 13-year-old if you told on him?
JAY: Yes. A state senator, a 13-year-old kid, somebody with that much power, in a small town like Tabor City, population probably 1,800. Farming community.
Jay says rumors of the Soles’ actions filled Tabor City; his own family joked about sexual relationships with Soles as a right of passage for young boys.
JAY: Yeah, and I thought they were just kidding, but after the encounters it wasn’t a joke, it wasn’t funny believe me. You hear rumors and you think no it can’t be and then it happens and you think. I should have known better, and I should have then.
JOE: Do you blame yourself?
JAY: Yeah, a lot of times I do.
JAY: Because I should have went to my mother and father.
Instead, he left Tabor City to live with other family members, but he couldn’t leave the memories behind. Jay says graphic images of what happened decades ago, cause him constant panic attacks.
JAY: Just knowing…(SIGHS AND SOBS)
JOE: Take your time…take your time.
JOE: Take all the time you need.
JAY: (focus, focus, focus) See what I mean. I mean his reputation was, and I didn’t even know who the guy was the first time. I mean some guy pulls up in a brand new damn Lincoln Continental throws the door open, you’re a little 13-year-old kid, and you’re like oh boy, free ride, yeah.
In August, Soles shot 22-year-old Kyle Blackburn while Blackburn was allegedly trying to break into the senator’s home, which the SBI is investigating.
Jay says that incident convinced him to come forward. He’s afraid Soles will hurt others.
JOE: You mentioned that you’re worried now.
JAY: Yes, definitely. And believe me this has nothing to do with trying to extort money from him or anything. Money has never been an issue. It’s a matter of justice. You know what I mean. I really don’t care. I’ve always been poor. I’ve had to work for everything I’ve ever gotten in my life.
Since speaking with WWAY, Jay shared his story with SBI investigators who were already looking into similar allegations made by former client Stacey Scott.
The SBI wouldn’t comment on the status of the investigation except to say that it remains open.
Doctor Michael Plaut is a psychologist specializing in professional-client relationships and sexual exploitation, and former president of the Society of Sex Therapy and Research.
He has also heard jay’s entire interview. We asked him if he believes it. “Yeah I do. It’s very difficult, the whole idea of victim’s having difficulty coming forward is something that happens all the time.”
Plaut says it’s not uncommon for someone to hide their victimization fearing the consequences if they decide to come forward. “You think you’re the only one. You think nobody is going to believe you. They’re so powerful. And they keep quiet.”
Plaut says it’s very unlikely someone would make these allegations if they weren’t true. He says there’s no sign of ulterior motive, and it’s likely jay is telling the truth.
“People don’t make this kind of thing up,” Plaut said. “He’s taking a risk by coming forward. There’s no money to be made for him. It’s not like he wants to sue him. He’s not saying that. That’s the only time that you’ll see a fabrication, if there’s money to be made usually. But the number of people who take the risk of coming forward with something like this is very, very low, if it’s fabricated.
JOE: What advice, if there are other victims out there?
JAY: Come forward. In other words, there’s strength in numbers.
Since interviewing Jay, not only has the SBI gotten involved; in addition, Doctor Plaut reported the allegations of sexual molestation to the Columbus County Department of Social Services.
DSS referred the complaint to law enforcement.
Doctor Plaut also reviewed a second interview with Jay conducted by the Carolina Journal. He says the two accounts are consistent.
WWAY also spoke at length with RC Soles’ lawyer Joe Cheshire.
Cheshire believes Jay isn’t credible. We asked if these new allegations will change the way he’s handling Senator Soles’ case. “It makes my belief in Senator Soles even stronger. It makes my belief in the fact that people that are trying to destroy him politically are behind these types of allegations…I’m going to fight for R.C. Soles like a cornered dog because I believe in him,” Cheshire said.
The State Bureau of Investigation is pursuing the sexual allegations and the shooting of Kyle Blackburn by the Senator.
We will continue to follow this story as it evolves.
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