Zebulon man with history of sex crimes charged with a sex offense with a child

amoody@newsobserver.com aspecht@newsobserver.comMay 16, 2013 


— Police on Thursday arrested a Zebulon man with a history of sexual crimes after they say he confessed to touching a 5-year-old boy inappropriately.

Charlie Douglas Harris, 53, of 712 Shepard School Road was charged with one count of a sexual offense against a child and, was being held at the Wake County jail under $100,000 bail.

Police Chief Tim Hayworth said a relative of the boy witnessed Harris touching him and contacted police Wednesday night. Harris confessed Thursday morning during a polygraph test, Hayworth said.

Police declined to specify the nature of the contact between Harris and the boy.

Harris was twice convicted in Wake County of indecent liberties with a child, in 1986 and again in 1993. Prison records show Harris served a total of five years for the two felony convictions.

Though Harris has two prior convictions for sex crimes, he is not registered with the state as a sex offender.

Harris registered as a sex offender in 1996 after his release from prison, but was taken off the registry in 2008, according to Mark Oakley, a Wake County sheriff’s deputy. By law, first-time sex offenders can petition to remove their names from the registry after 10 years with no additional sex offense convictions. From viewing Harris’ file, Oakley said, he couldn’t say how his name was removed.

Under current law, two-time sex offenders cannot be removed from the registry, but convictions that resulted in prison sentences that were completed before 1996 don’t count, Oakley said.

No longer a registered sex offender, Harris is not bound by laws restricting sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of schools or child-care centers. He currently resides within 600 feet of Zebulon Middle School on Shepard School Road, according to the Wake County GIS office.

It’s unclear where Harris lived at the time he was registered as a sex offender.

In August 2012, Harris was charged with one count of sexual battery for touching a woman inappropriately. Recently, Harris agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge of assault on a female, Oakley said.

Moody: 919-829-4806

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