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Mother and Baby Kidnapped by Human Trafficking Suspect

A man from Willard, North Carolina, is suspected of abducting a woman and her 8-month-old child and keeping them captive for over a month while allegedly forcing the woman to perform sexual acts.

The Pender County 911 emergency services received a call on the morning of August 9 from the alleged victim of a kidnapping. The woman on the line reported that she and her baby had been taken by a man on Independence Day, and he had been keeping them captive since then.

The caller also said that her alleged kidnapper used a taser on her before sexually assaulting her. The woman reported that the alleged non-consensual acts took place on more than one occasion and that the man would sometimes point a gun at her while demanding sex.

When the Pender County Sheriff’s Office was given the information from the call they dispatched to the location the woman supplied and suspected 54-year-old James Bryan Peterson, the owner of the property, was the alleged kidnapper.

Peterson was booked into the jail and incarcerated in lieu of $20,000 for two counts of assault on a female, one count of sexual battery, and one count of assault by pointing a gun.

The man met the conditions of the secured bond the following day and he was released from custody.

The authorities obtained a search warrant in order to continue investigating the claims against Peterson, and after his home was inspected he was placed under arrest for a second time.

He was issued additional charges for suspicion of one count of human trafficking an adult victim, one count of human trafficking a child victim, one count of first-degree kidnapping, one count of involuntary servitude, one count of sexual servitude, one count of felonious restraint, and one count of second-degree kidnapping.

His bond for the added charges was set at $2 million, and Peterson remains in the Pender County Jail.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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