Local News

Wake Authorities Investigate Alleged Rape By Girl's Guardian

Posted February 4, 2003 12:46 p.m. EST

— The Wake County Sheriff's Office is investigating the reported statuatory rape of a middle school girl allegedly by her legal guardian. Investigators say the suspect met the girl while volunteering at a childrens' home. Authorities fear she may not be the only victim.

James McDaniel-Webb is a former volunteer at the Masonic Home for Children in Oxford who came across to administrators as someone who wanted to help kids. The alleged victim and suspect met at the home..

Officials with the Masonic Home released the following statement:

"The administration and staff of our Home, through our policies and procedures, place the highest priority on the safety and well-being of the children in our care and will continue to do so."

McDaniel-Webb took the child to live in his Wake County home after he became her legal guardian. Neighbors claim they often saw young girls coming and going from McDaniel-Webb's home.

"I would hope it would be terribly upsetting to the general public to realize this is occurring," said Maj. T.S. Matthews, of the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

Matthews said there were signs something was wrong.

"When you start having young girls sleeping over [at] this man's house at night with no other adult present, then I'd question that myself," he said.

Investigators were tipped off to the abuse after an e-mail containing a nude picture of the victim was circulated around her middle school.

"It became apparent to us there was a lot of sexual activity going on and this girl was quite young," Matthews said.

Investigators searched McDaniel-Webb's home and found obscene pictures of other underage girls. Investigators say there could be more victims.

Investigators say some of the obscene pictures found on McDaniel-Webb's computer were downloaded from the Internet and could lead to federal charges. They believe other pictures are of local girls. Investigators are trying to locate the girls to see if they are also victims.