5 Carteret County Men Arrested For Child Sex Offenses, Abduction In A Month

Five Carteret County men have been arrested for child sex offenses or abduction cases in just a month's time.

The most high profile case came to an end with the arrest September 26th of 38- year-old Timothy Newman charged with abducting 12-year-old Abigaile Lefevers. He was found in Florida with the girl.

Monday of this week, October 8th, deputies say 31-year-old Jeffrey Commander was arrested and charged with taking indecent liberties with a minor after police say the girl's mother, learned of the sexual offense by reading the child's diary. On the same day, a teacher and softball coach at New Bern High School 57-year-old Harrell Thach was arrested at his Emerald Isle home accused of raping a 14-year-old girl when he worked at Perquimans High School back in the 1990s.

September 17th, 19-year-old James White Junior of Morehead City appeared in court for 2nd degree rape and 2 counts of statutory rape.

September 9th 20-year-old Matthew Steagall of Newport was arrested after deputies say he raped a 14-year-old girl. When he was arrested, deputies say they found the victim still with the man.

Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck says the number of sex offenders in the county has increased. In 2007 the county had 58 registered sex offenders. Today there are 90.

"Whether there's 10 sex offenders in Carteret County or whether there's 100 sex offenders in Carteret County, it's our
responsibility to oversee the sex offender registry and ensure that those offenders are abiding by the rules and regulations imposed on them by the state of North Carolina."

Sheriff Buck says parents need to check the sex offender registry for offenders in their area and heavily monitor children's social media sites and cell phones.