Registered sex offender charged with statutory rape and sodomy

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO (KPLR) – After nearly two days on the run, a Litchfield, Illinois man and his 14 year-old stepdaughter were taken into custody.

29-year-old Jerry Pocklington told police his plan was to head to New York with the teenage girl, and keep her there for four years until she was old enough to legally marry him.

However, instead of heading northeast from Litchfield on Wednesday night, the two hitchhiked to St. Louis, then to Maryland Heights.

Maryland Heights Detective Sgt. Rich White says, “While they were walking, they arrived at the rear of an area business, they found an unlocked van, they spent the night in the van Thursday evening, and it was during that time that he committed the statutory rape against her.”

The next morning, concerned employees spotted the suspicious pair, and called police.  After extensive interviews with both the teen and her stepdad, police say a sexual relationship began nearly a year ago, in July 2013.  “I think she knew that it was wrong, but again, she’s a 14 year-old child, so she was scared and confused,” says White.

Now, the girl is in safe custody with a relative, and her stepfather is behind bars. He’s charged with Statutory Rape and two counts of Statutory Sodomy, with a $150,000 cash-only bond. If convicted, he faces at least 25 years behind bars—and that’s just in Missouri.

Litchfield police are investigating the rape allegations east of the Mississippi, and expect additional charges to be handed down later this week.  If convicted, police say he could serve time in both states.

Pocklington is a registered sex offender in Arizona, for a crime committed as a juvenile.  Police say he is still married to the girl’s mother.

You can follow Rebecca Roberts on Twitter and Facebook:
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