Local News

Man Charged With Kidnapping, Raping Girl

Posted August 27, 2007 4:36 p.m. EDT

— A Smithfield man was arrested Friday and charged with kidnapping and rape in connection with an attack on a 12-year-old girl, authorities said Monday.

Elder Geovani Cortez, 29, of 3032 S. Brightleaf Blvd., was charged with first-degree rape of a child, first-degree kidnapping and indecent liberties with a child. Cortez was being held in the Johnston County Jail on a $2 million secured bond.

A 12-year-old girl was taken from her Princeton home on Thursday, was bound and blindfolded and was taken to a Smithfield residence, where she was raped at knife point, authorities said. The girl was released in the area of Interstate 40 and N.C. Highway 42 and was found walking along I-40 by the state Highway Patrol, authorities said.

The girl was transported to Johnston Memorial Hospital and then to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for treatment. She has been released from UNC Hospitals and was in the custody of her parents Monday.