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Children's Camp Owner Charged With Sex Crimes

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DURHAM, N.C. — The owner of a children's camp has been charged with child sex abuse after a woman told authorities she was molested 17 years ago.

Otto Mayes, 48, of Bivens Road in Durham, has been charged with first-degree sex offense with a child and taking indecent liberties with a minor, authorities said. He has been released on a $200,000 bond.

Mayes owns Crane Creek Ranch with his wife, Belinda. The camp in northern Durham County bills itself as a friendly environment where children learn to ride and care for horses.

A woman said Otto Mayes abused her from the time she was 5 until she was 13.

The woman is a relative of Mayes, and she told investigators she never planned to come forward with the allegations. She changed her mind, however, when she saw Mayes picking up a group of children at her child's school to take them to Crane Creek Ranch, authorities said.

Mayes' attorney didn't return phone calls for comment.

Mayes is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 15.

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