Chocowinity man charged for sex crimes

Published 7:21 pm Friday, August 5, 2016

A Chocowinity man has been charged with multiple counts of statutory rape and sex offenses.

Thursday, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office investigators arrested Leslie Craig Nobles, 23, charging him with crimes dating back to 2012, according to a press release from sheriff’s office.

Nobles was charged with eight counts of statutory rape and three counts of statutory sex offense, all reportedly committed against victims under the age of 15, according to the release.

Chief Deputy Charlie Rose said the sheriff’s office began investigating Nobles after they received a tip that Nobles had used social media to send a graphic photo of himself to a girl under the age of 15, but investigation led to the reopening of a case from 2012 that did not lead to an arrest — a case in which Nobles had allegedly had sex with a 14-year-old, according to the release.

“We reopened it and re-interviewed people — just one thing led to another and to where we are now,” Rose said. “We’re not done yet.”

“In the weeks after receiving the tip, investigators conducted over 23 interviews of victims, witnesses and Nobles himself,” the release stated. “The investigation showed that Nobles’ youngest victim was 13 years old while he was greater than nine years older. The investigation, which is still continuing, has so far revealed over nine victims.”

The release said Nobles likely will face additional charges in relation to the nine identified victims and also could face charges in another county.

Nobles serves with the North Carolina Army National Guard’s 524th MP Company in Winterville. He has been detained at the Beaufort County Detention Center under a $300,000 secured bond.

According to the release, Sheriff Ernie Coleman is asking anyone with information in this case to contact his Investigation Division at 252-946-7111 or Crime Stoppers at 252-974-6400. Information from sources given to law enforcement through Crimes Stoppers can remain anonymous.