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Posted: 5:37 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013
ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. —
Leonard Ray Oates turned himself at the Alexander County courthouse. Investigators say they got nearly two dozen calls from channel 9 viewers some within an hour of us airing the story. Police say a man watched the 15-year old girl for nearly a minute before moving in and touching her inappropriately from behind. The teenager's mother who asked we not show her face says her daughter ran away and was near tears and shaking afterwards. Police believe it was these images of the suspect taken near the front door that led to the overwhelming response in the case. We were there as they arrested Leonard Ray Oates today, charging him with sexual battery. Police say Oates is also a registered sex offender after being convicted of taking indecent liberties with a child in 2001. They say they appreciate the phone calls from channel 9 viewers, which led them to Oates, who lives three counties away in Cherryville. Oates was locked up under a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to go before a judge early next month here in Taylorsville.
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