R’boro man arrested on felony sex charges


ROSEBORO — A Roseboro man stands charged with several felonies following an investigation into allegations he had improper relations with a teenage girl, whose mother found “inappropriate” photos on the young girl’s phone, authorities said.

Marcus Dashawn Mitchell, 22, of 204 N. East St., Roseboro, has been charged with statutory rape/sex offense on child 6 years of age or older, indecent liberties with a child, soliciting a child by computer and disseminating obscene material to a minor under 16, all felony offenses.

Mitchell was taken into custody at the Roseboro address Wednesday and transported by Sampson County Sheriff’s authorities to the magistrate’s office, where he was processed for the charges. Reached Thursday, Sheriff’s Lt. Marcus Smith confirmed the charges were the result of an investigation launched after information was provided by the girl’s mother.

The victim was 14 years old, Smith noted. Names of juveniles are not released.

“The victim’s mother discovered inappropriate pictures on her daughter’s cell phone and reported that to investigators, who then launched an investigation,” Smith stated. “Enough evidence was obtained to file charges against the suspect. The disseminating obscene materials charge stemmed from the pictures found.”

Smith said the soliciting a child by computer charge encompasses any electronic device.

According to N.C. General Statute, when a person over 16, using a computer or other electronic device, and with the “intent to commit an unlawful sex act, entices, advises, coerces, orders or commands” a person under 16 and at least five years younger to meet for the purpose of committing an unlawful sex act, the first person has committed the crime of solicitation of a child by computer.

Investigators often provide limited details in sex offense cases, especially those involving juveniles. Smith said Thursday that no further information would be released at this time.

Mitchell was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under $100,000 bond.