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Rape suspect faces added charge

AULANDER – An Aulander man, already jailed on a statutory rape charge, found himself in more trouble last week.

Brian O’Neal Powell, 19, was charged with felony obstruction of justice and violating a court order after he allegedly contacted a family member of the victim and offered a bribe.

Aulander Police Chief Jimmy Barmer reported that Powell was arrested Jan. 31 on charges of statutory rape and statutory sex offense against a 13, 14 or 15 year-old. That incident was reported Jan. 30 by the victim’s mother.

As part of his $50,000 cash bond on those charges, Powell was warned not to make contact with the victim or the victim’s family. Barmer said on Feb. 7, Powell contacted the victim’s mother by phone and allegedly offered to bribe her in exchange for dropping the charges.

Upon learning of that telephone call, Barmer had a warrant drawn for felony obstruction of justice. The warrant was served on Powell while incarcerated in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail. It also led to an additional $250,000 cash bond placed on Powell.

Barmer said he wanted to thank Bertie Sheriff Greg Atkins and his staff n most notably Corporal Dwayne Outlaw, Deputy Alicia Bond and Detective Sgt. Ed Pittman n for their assistance in the case.