LANCASTER – A 30-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl on Dec. 13 has been charged with six felony counts, authorities said.
Charles Delshawn James is charged with two counts of kidnapping to commit another crime, one count of sexual penetration by foreign object, one count of sodomy by use of force, one count of committing a lewd act upon a child, and one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Detectives presented the case to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday (Dec. 26), charges were filed that day, and a warrant was issued for the James’ arrest, according to the Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau.
That same day, the Special Victims Bureau released a photo of James to the media. Hours later, James was located in Greenville, South Carolina.
“It appears that he was there for the holidays visiting relatives,” said Special Victims Bureau Sgt. Brian Hudson.
“A relative of his, who is here in Antelope Valley, saw the news coverage and notified him. And he, in turn, reached out to our detectives last night (Dec. 26),” Hudson continued. “During that conversation with him, we were able to gather enough information to narrow where he was in Greenville, South Carolina. Detectives went ahead and contacted the local law enforcement agency there, and they went and arrested him without incident on our behalf.”
James was arrested early Thursday morning (Dec. 27). Hudson said detectives used several “investigative tools” to identify James as a suspect in the sexual assault.
“How we fully came to identify him, I’m not going to get into specifics right now, but we are very comfortable that we have identified the right suspect in this case,” Hudson said.
James has a prior criminal history that includes drug usage and property theft crimes, but nothing involving sex crimes, Hudson said. At this point, the sexual assault on Dec. 13 appears to have been a “random attack,” Hudson said.
“But we still need to speak with Mr. James to get more information,” Hudson added. “Detectives are making arrangements right now to fly to South Carolina to actually take custody of Mr. James and also to attempt to interview him regarding this case.”
James is accused of following and then sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl around 6:15 a.m. on Dec. 13 in Lancaster.
The girl told detectives she was walking to school in the 2000 Block of East Avenue J-8 when she noticed a man walking behind her. Believing that she was being following, the girl crossed the street; but the suspect also crossed the street and was getting closer to her.
The suspect grabbed the girl, dragged her into some bushes, and then repeatedly sexually assaulted the girl, sheriff’s officials said.
Once he ended the assault, the suspect fled the location.
The girl was able to get to a local residence and contact the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station for help. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau at 877-710-5273 or SpecialVictims@lasd.org. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Local detectives will be flying to South Carolina, within the next 10 days, to take custody of James and bring him back to the Antelope Valley to start the court process, Hudson said.
Once in local custody, James will be held on $2.3 million bail, Hudson said.
UPDATED 1/8/2013: Charles James was extradited back to California and reportedly pleaded not guilty to all charges in an Antelope Valley courtroom on Monday (Jan. 7). A preliminary hearing on the case is set for Thursday, Jan 17., where a judge will decide if there is enough evidence against James to take the case to trial.