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Sex offenders accused of being in the wrong places



Staff Writer


The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said deputies jailed two local sex offenders on Wednesday after one failed to notify authorities of a change of address and another man illegally attended a Lincolnton church service for children.

James Dwight Bandy, 38, of 1945 Southpark Drive in Newton, is accused of visiting a New Vision Ministries Church Sunday school class last week according to an agency press release. He first stepped foot on the property on Nov. 24, deputies said.

Catawba County deputies notified the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office that Bandy’s had been band from being within 300 feet of sites offering children’s care or classes, the release said.

Bandy’s was placed under a $5,000 secured bond and charged with one count of being a sex offender at or near child premises.

The Catawba County man was involved in a sex-related incident with a 14-year-old victim in Jefferson County, Tenn., in 2009, according to the North Carolina Department of Correction website.

Deputies charged Matthew Jason Cooke, 24, of 2561 Long Neck Drive in Iron Station, with failing to tell them about his new address within three days of moving, as required by state law. He previously lived on Amity Church Road in Iron Station, the release said.

Sheriff’s Detective Don Mauldin discovered the discrepancy during a routine check of local sex offenders’ addresses. Earlier this year, the Sheriff’s Office announced they would be doing more frequent random checks of registered sex offenders’ addresses as a way to be more proactive in protecting the community and its children.

In August, the Sheriff’s Office said there were nearly 125 sex offenders registered in Lincoln County.

Cooke was jailed under a $9,500 secured bond.

In 2005, a Mecklenburg County judge convicted him of indecent liberties with a minor, according to the N.C. Department of Justice’s sex offender registry website. Cooke was 16 at the time, and his victim four years old.

Both men have since been released from the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center.

Visit http://sexoffender.ncdoj.gov/Default.aspx to locate area sex offenders.


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