Teen charged with child sex crimes

Published 8:56 am Thursday, April 10, 2014

WOODLAND – A six-month investigation into sex crimes against a child has ended with the arrest of a local teen.

Keontre Maurice Peebles, age 16 of Woodland, was arrested April 8. He stands charged with two felony counts of indecent liberties with a child as well as one misdemeanor count of sexual battery.

Keontre Peebles

Keontre Peebles

The arrest and charges were made by the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office.

Peebles was jailed under a $32,000 bond and is scheduled to make his first court appearance today (Thursday) in Jackson.

According to Chuck Hasty, Captain of the Northampton Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Unit, the investigation began in September of last year. That criminal probe was launched after a family member reported the incident.

“At the outset of the investigation we started with one victim, whose mother got in touch with us to report what had happened to her child,” Hasty said. “As we dug deeper into the case we learned there were additional victims.”

Hasty stated that he used the Tedi Bear Children’s Advocacy Center in Greenville to assist in the investigation of these crimes. The Center, founded in 1992, is part of the Department of Pediatrics at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. It serves children up to age 18 who are alleged victims of abuse and/or neglect.  The center provides a child-friendly environment to help heal the trauma that typically accompanies abuse or neglect. TEDI BEAR also helps the parents or other caregivers of abused children, provided that the caregivers have not committed or contributed to the child’s abuse.

“We really appreciate the assistance of the Tedi Bear Center in this case,” said Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith. “It’s sad to learn of alleged sexual battery involving anyone of any age, but it’s particularly disheartening when you discover it involves a young child. We hope the Tedi Bear Center can help those affected by this case here in our county through the emotional trauma they are dealing with.”

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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