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Man arrested for sex crimes after allegedly hiding in closet

A North Carolina man is facing criminal allegations after he apparently hid in a teenager's closet for five days, only fleeing after he was discovered by the girl's mother. Authorities say the defendant will be charged with several sex crimes, including statutory rape and statutory sex offense. He faces 16 counts in all. The man is currently in custody on a $1 million bond.

Official reports show that the man, who could face life in prison, met the girl online and then asked to meet up with her in person. He is accused of having sexual intercourse with the teenager several times during the period between April 27 and May 2. The statutory rape and other sex crimes allegations stem from the fact that the age of consent in North Carolina is 16; the teen in this case was just 14 years old.

The 27-year-old man allegedly stayed in the girl's closet or bedroom during the day. He would then emerge in the evenings, when the girl was in her room. He was outed by the girl's mother when she went into her daughter's room to put away some clothes. The defendant fled into woods behind the alleged victim's home, where he dropped his wallet and mobile phone.

The defendant does have a significant prior record. He is slated to appear in another North Carolina court in early June in connection with charges of identity theft and related offenses. He is also currently under investigation for a probation violation.

Criminal defendants who are facing sex crimes allegations in conjunction with other multiple offenses may have special needs in criminal court. These defendants could conceivably face harsher sentences because of their prior record. Still, all criminal defendants accused of sex crimes deserve to be treated fairly and have their rights protected, even if they are facing legal trouble for other violations.

Source: USA Today, "Man hides in teen's closet for 5 days; mom unaware" Tony Burbeck, WCNC-TV, May. 20, 2014

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