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Lincoln grand jury indicts Fla. man for rape of teen

Staff Writer

A Lincoln County grand jury indicted a Florida man Monday on rape charges in connection with a 2009 city case, police said.
Officers initially served 41-year-old Juan Rafael Diaz a warrant July 19 with two felony counts each of statutory rape and sex offense, according to Lt. Matt Painter, head of Lincolnton Police Department’s Community Services Division.
Following the alleged incident three years ago, Diaz left the state to finish serving time in a Florida prison for a number of misdemeanor charges, officers said.
Police forced Diaz back to North Carolina on a Governor’s warrant after the suspect refused to return to the state.
“There’s no fighting that,” Painter said of the warrant.
The suspect sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl, whom he knew, over the course of three months at the victim’s Lincolnton home, police said.
The alleged abuse started in January 2009, police said. Florida authorities arrested Diaz in March.
The suspect is currently being held in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond.

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