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Man arrested in alleged sexual assault of 14-year-old Lancaster girl

December 27, 2012 |  2:46 pm

User21020-1356637943-media1_83effc_205_240_PrsMe_Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Thursday they have arrested a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old Lancaster girl as she walked to school. 

Charles James, 30, contacted local detectives Wednesday evening after learning authorities were looking for him, said Sgt. Brian Hudson, of the sheriff’s department’s special victims bureau.

Authorities found James at the home of a relative in Greenville, S.C., where he was on vacation, Hudson said. He was taken into custody by local law enforcement officials Thursday morning.

"He was located as a result of all the media attention this case received," Hudson said.

James is suspected of following the girl just after 6 a.m. on Dec. 13 as she walked to school in the 2000 block of East Avenue J-8 in Lancaster, authorities said.

According to authorities, the victim noticed a man following her and crossed the street. He did the same and soon after dragged her into bushes where he attacked her, the sheriff’s department said.

The suspect ran away after the assault. The girl went to a nearby home and contacted Lancaster authorities. She was later treated and released from a local hospital.

"She went through a very traumatic experience," Hudson said. "It's fair to say that given the circumstances, she's doing as well as could be expected."

Detectives presented the case to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office on Wednesday and five felony counts were filed against the suspect, authorities. Hudson said the tireless work of detectives on the case led authorities to believe that James is responsible. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

James, whose last known address was in the Antelope Valley, was awaiting extradition from South Carolina, Hudson said.


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Photo: Charles James, who is suspected of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Lancaster earlier this month, was arrested Thursday morning in Greenville, S.C. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department