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Army recruiter arrested on allegations of statutory rape

Northeast Alabama law enforcement arrested an Army staff sergeant Saturday after investigators alleged he had sex with a girl under the age of 16.

Staff Sgt. William L. Turk, 27, was charged with statutory rape, two counts of sodomy with a girl under 16 but over 12 and enticing a child for an immoral purpose, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Turk has been a recruiter at the Fort Payne Recruiting Center, which falls under the Montgomery Recruiting Battalion, for a little more than two years. He enlisted in April 2012 as an infantryman, and has been on recruiting duties since October 2017, Army Recruiting Command spokeswoman Lisa M. Ferguson said.

Turk was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, prior to becoming a recruiter in Alabama. He was suspended from all recruiting duties immediately following his arrest, according to Ferguson.

An Army recruiter was arrested in Alabama on allegations of statutory rape of a girl less than 16 years old but older than 12. (Jackson County Jail)
An Army recruiter was arrested in Alabama on allegations of statutory rape of a girl less than 16 years old but older than 12. (Jackson County Jail)

“The incident is under investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. Army Recruiting Command takes all allegations seriously and is cooperating with local authorities in support of the investigation,” Ferguson said.

There is no indication that Turk met the alleged victim through his duties as an Army recruiter. Ferguson declined to discuss details of the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

Booking officials at the Jackson County Jail did not respond to a request by Army Times for Turk’s attorney’s information. Turk could not be reached for comment. He is being held on a $35,000 bail.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen also did not respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon. The charges against Turk and the bail amount posted may change after court appearances, according to jail officials.

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