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Soldier charged in Fayetteville rapes held on $11 million in bonds

Posted March 16, 2010

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— A Fort Bragg soldier charged in connection with several sexual assaults in Fayetteville and Hoke County was being held Tuesday on $11 million in bonds.

Army Spc. Aaron Michael Pernell, 22, was charged Friday with three counts each of first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping, one count of attempted first-degree rape, five counts of attempted second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, four counts of assault on a female, six counts of first-degree burglary and one count each of first-degree sex offense and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Authorities said the charges stemmed from three incidents in Fayetteville and three in Hoke County, but they declined to provide details of the cases other than to say they occurred in 2008 and 2009.

Pernell made initial appearances in Hoke and Cumberland counties on Tuesday. A Hoke County judge set his bond at $5 million and Cumberland's judge placed him under a $6 million bond.

Following the appearances, Pernell was in custody at Fort Bragg, where he was charged last month with two burglaries and a sexual assault.

Authorities are still searching for the suspect in a highly publicized string of rapes in the Fayetteville area last year.

A sketch of a man believed to be responsible for the series of attacks was released last week. Authorities have asked anyone who might recognize the person in the sketch to call a tip line at 910-433-1934.

They declined to say how or when they developed the sketch.

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