A Northeast Philadelphia man was sentenced on Monday to spend the next 30 to 60 years behind bars for raping three of his family’s foster children repeatedly over an 11-year period.
Gerald Stokes, 25, was a child himself when he began assaulting the first victim in 2003 and ’04 when she was 8 and 9 years old. The girl found a new home in 2005, but Stokes’ family soon took a second foster daughter, whom Stokes raped repeatedly for about a year until she reached age 16 and moved out. In 2007, the family adopted a 9-year-old whom Stokes raped repeatedly over the ensuing six years.
The District Attorney’s Office did not reveal the specific locations of the crimes, but Stokes is listed in court records as a resident of the 19111 ZIP code.
Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn H. Nichols handed down the sentence after presiding over Stokes’ trial last October, when a jury convicted him of multiple counts of child rape, forcible rape, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of a minor. All three victims testified during the case.
“The courage of these three victims along with Judge Nichols’ sentence will ensure that Mr. Stokes never harms another child,” Assistant DA Branwen McNabb said in a printed statement.
The crimes came to light in 2013 when the most recent victim revealed her abuse at school during a presentation about sexual abuse. The teen then reported it to Stokes’ mother, who helped her report it to police. The two other victims later came forward. ••