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Hickory man’s bond increased over Cherryville rape, break-in charges



Staff Writer


A judge increased a Hickory man’s bond following a first appearance Monday in Gaston County after Cherryville police said he raped and strangled a local woman over the weekend, sending her to a Lincolnton hospital.

Phillip Nathaniel Link, 39, of 102 1st Avenue Northeast, sits under a $600,000 secured bond in the Gaston County jail. He was originally placed under a $500,000 bond.

He’s charged with one felony count each of first-degree burglary, first-degree rape and assault by strangulation, Cherryville Sgt. Cam Jenks said.

Link is accused of breaking into the woman’s Cherryville home on Saturday and forcing her onto a couch where he raped and strangled her.

Jenks said the man knocked on the door to the residence sometime after 7 p.m. and stated a name, but the woman told officers she couldn’t remember if he gave his correct name or not. After she opened the door slightly, Link pushed it open the rest of the way and began assaulting her, she told police.

While the two knew of each other, they were not friends or even acquaintances, Jenks said.

The woman called the Cherryville Police Department and spoke with Officer J.B. Parker immediately after the man left her home. Police said the time was 7:57 p.m.

Officers later located the suspect a few blocks from the residence in an area near South Mountain and East Ballard Streets.

Emergency Medical Services rushed the woman to Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln for treatment for her injuries, police said.

According to the North Carolina Department of Correction website, Link was released from a state correctional facility in March 2012 after serving at least five months for assault on a female in Catawba County.

Link was found guilty of second-degree burglary, a felony, in Lincoln County in 1998, NC DOC showed. Additional misdemeanor charges to his name include drug use, larceny, trespassing, and resisting an officer.


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