Local News

Judge quadruples sex offender's bond after Spring Lake girl's sexual assault

Posted September 2, 2014 1:47 p.m. EDT
Updated September 2, 2014 6:18 p.m. EDT

— A Harnett County judge on Tuesday quadrupled the bond for a registered sex offender accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old Spring Lake girl last week.

Authorities say the child was walking from school to a local library Tuesday afternoon when Nathan Lynn Cooley, claiming to be a police officer, approached her and asked for help finding his dog.

Cooley, 28, of 1317 Verlie Drive, is accused of luring the girl into his car, driving her to a wooded area and attacking her before dropping her off at the library.

After a nationwide search, he surrendered to authorities Saturday night and was initially jailed under a $250,000 bond on charges of first-degree kidnapping and taking indecent liberties with a child.

During a brief court appearance Tuesday afternoon, he maintained his innocence. District Attorney Billy West, however, requested the bond be set at $1 million because of Cooley's criminal history.

The judge granted the request.

According to the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry, Cooley was convicted of attempted rape of a 13-year-old in Currituck County in 2005 and served three years in prison and two years' probation. In 2011, he was convicted of indecent liberties with a 15-year-old in Dare County and received five years' probation.