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Man’s rape trial gets under way

JENNA-LEY HARRISON

Staff Writer

An Iron Station man accused of raping a teen in the county nearly four years ago is on trial this week. Defendant James Fred Reeves Jr., 39, has been charged with one felony count each of crimes against nature, first-degree burglary, indecent liberties with a child and two felony counts of statutory rape/sex offense.

He is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl inside her bedroom at her Iron Station home the night of May 6, 2010, court officials said.

Reeves could receive anywhere from 190 to 237 months or 317 to 390 months for just one of the statutory rape charges, according to a Superior Court judge.

The determination of a defendant’s prison time is based on prior record as well as a crime’s classification

During the first official day of trial on Tuesday, the court heard testimony from a number of the victim’s relatives including her mother, Tammy Anderson — named Tammy Holland at the time of the alleged incident — former step-grandmother, Sharon Patterson, and former stepfather, Eugene Matthew Holland, III.

Anderson, now a resident of San Antonio, Texas, relayed to the courtroom details of the night her daughter was allegedly raped, including how she spotted then 34-year-old Reeves standing naked in the corner of the victim’s bedroom, she said, just moments before he jumped out the window.

“I started screaming bloody murder,” she said.

Anderson said she had gone into her daughter’s room to put the family dog on her bed.

She first grew suspicious, however, when she noticed the bedroom door locked, she said.

Anderson further testified how after seeing Reeves in the room, she turned to her daughter, who was lying on the bed “frozen and paralyzed” with a blanket covering her naked body.

“She was pale-white — as a ghost,” the mother said.

The family also found a strange pair of men’s shorts in the room — shorts that belonged to no one in the household, Anderson said.

Deputies apprehended Reeves a short distance from the home almost immediately after the family made the 911 call, the prosecution said.

Jury members listened to the call after Coral Saunders, the Communications Center’s coordinator and deputy director, took the stand to explain the details of how her agency operates, including copying and archiving emergency calls.

The victim, now 18, testified near the end of Tuesday’s court proceedings.

The high school senior, who now resides in Monroe, told the jury how Reeves first raped her a month earlier at his trailer, located down the road from her residence.

The teen had been playing board games at the trailer with the defendant’s nephew, she said.

Reeves later returned home and walked inside the residence, immediately locking the doors and tying her hands with rope before removing her clothes and raping her, the victim said.

Because she claimed Reeves threatened to harm or kill her family if she told anyone about the incident, she kept quiet.

The teen further testified that the defendant drove by her home one day, telling her about his upcoming move.

During the incident, he dropped a piece of paper from his truck window with his phone number written on it, she said.

It wasn’t until Reeves started “stalking” her, the victim noted, and watching her from his truck late at night while parked along a dirt road near her residence, that she told her mother about him.

Fearful of Reeves’ previous threats, the victim didn’t reveal details of the alleged rape at his trailer.

It wasn’t until after the second alleged rape in May that the victim opened up about previous encounters with the defendant.

A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) also administered a rape kit on her at a Lincolnton hospital the night of the incident, the prosecution added.

Testimony in the case will continue today.

Local criminal defense attorney T. J. Wilson, of Lincolnton, is representing Reeves, who was convicted of second-degree murder in Gaston County in 1996, the North Carolina Department of Correction website showed.

Assistant District Attorney Lydia Hosa is serving as lead prosecutor in the case.

 

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