FAYETTEVILLE — An 87-year old Cumberland County man is charged with raping a 15-year-old girl. Police say the attack happened in a wooded area, and that the man was a close friend of the victim and her family.
The 15 year old's mother says Ernest Norman was like a grandfather to her children. They called him "Pops". But now, Ernest Norman is behind bars at the Cumberland County jail charged with statutory rape.
A man called police Sunday afternoon after seeing something that didn't look right in the woods behind his Massey Hill home.
Fayetteville Police Sgt. Tim Hayworth says officers caught Norman in the act.
Police arrested Ernest Norman on the spot and Charged him with statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a child.
The child's mother is in shock. She says Norman used to be a neighbor. Once the family moved, Norman still visited every other day. Sunday, the elderly man and the girl were just heading to the store, as they had done many times before.
The child's mother says she is shocked and angry.
Dr. Clarice Pratt of the Cumberland County Mental Health Center says this 15-year-old was probably more vulnerable than most. That's because she has a developmental disability.
Norman remains behind bars on a $50,000 bond.