On Saturday, three girls, ages 13, 14 and 15, said they were sitting at a picnic table, looked over to some bushes and saw Henry Abernathy performing a lewd act.
One of the girls still seems traumatized by what she saw, according to her older sister.
“She hasn't said much. She has kind of been in her own world,” said the sister, who Channel 9 is not identifying to protect the younger girl’s identity.
The three girls said they saw Abernathy riding on a bike while they were walking on Main Street in Cherryville. They didn't realize he had followed them until they arrived at the city's skate park, they said.
They said they yelled at him and he ran.
They then gave police a description, and police said they knew exactly who he was.
Two months ago, women at the YMCA told police he was looking at them in a strange way.
“There was no crime committed, so we just got his information,” said Cherryville Police Chief Woody Burgess.
Burgess said Abernathy confessed to his acts in the park.