LANCASTER – The man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl on her way to school appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom for a preliminary hearing Thursday, but the hearing was postponed to next month.
Charles James, 30, is charged with five felony sex crimes in connection with a Dec. 13 attack that occurred in east Lancaster.
The crime happened on the 2000 block of East Avenue J-8. The victim told detectives she was walking to school when she noticed a man following her. The man caught up to the girl, dragged her into some bushes and repeatedly sexually assaulted the girl, sheriff’s officials said. Once the attack was finished, the suspect fled the scene. The girl was able to go to a local residence to contact Lancaster sheriff station and filed the complaint.
Less than two weeks later, James was identified as a suspect in the assault. A warrant was issued for his arrest on Dec. 26, and his image was released to the media.
A family member saw the news coverage and notified James, who was spending the holidays in Greenville, South Carolina.
James contacted the detectives on the case. The local detectives contacted law enforcement in Greenville, and James was arrested on Dec. 27. He was booked at the Greenville County jail and extradited to California about a week later to face charges.
James is charged with two counts of kidnapping, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object, one count of sodomy by use of force, one count of committing a lewd act on a child and one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, according to court records.
The preliminary hearing to decide if James will go to trial is now set for February 4, 2013. James remains jailed on $2.3 million bail.