Man arrested for statutory rape outside community center

Man arrested for statutory rape outside community center
Herold DePriest (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)
Herold DePriest (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)

(WMC-TV) – A car parked outside a community center hours after closing time roused the suspicions of police officers, who say they found two people who do not belong together.

The Ed Rice Community Center is a place where kids play basketball, swim, and engage in other after school activities.

When police noticed a vehicle parked after hours, they found a 31-year-old and a 16-year-old girl together in the car.

Initially, police say both the teen and Herold DePriest, 31, gave conflicting stories as to why they were there.

Eventually, police say the teenager told them she had sex with DePriest four times over the past five days.

When officers searched his car and looked in the center console, instead of a map book and a two-way radio, they found two wrapped condoms.

Action News 5 went to DePriest's north Memphis neighborhood and knocked on his door.

Nobody answered, but one neighbor said DePriest seems like a good guy.

"I mean, yes, he's an adult. He should've known better and she's a child. But some of these girls, 16, 17, 15, they got enough knowledge to know what they're doing," said neighbor Terry Smith.

But according to state law, the teenager is too young to consent. That landed DePriest in jail on an aggravated statutory rape charge.

He is locked up on a $15,000 bond and is due in court Thursday morning.

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