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Raeford Police Detective Denies Charges of Child Molestation

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Raeford Police Detective Mike Underwood says he was set up by three juveniles who have accused him of sexual abuse. (WRAL-TV5 News)
RAEFORD — A Raeford Police detective is off the job, and on the other side of law, charged with several sex offenses involving children. He says the kids set him up.

A Hoke County Grand Jury indicted Detective Mike Underwood late Monday, and while the case is now headed to court, those handling it aren't talking.

Underwood is charged with statutory rape, taking indecent liberties with a child, one count of crimes against nature, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Although he refused an on-camera interview, Underwood did say the charges stem from an incident that occurred about a year ago in which he says he threatened to charge three juveniles with a felony.

Underwood says one of the juveniles admitted to him on audio tape that he made up the sexual allegation because of the threat. He would not, however, allow WRAL to hear that tape.

Underwood has been a detective with the Raeford Police Department for two years.Before that he worked for the Hoke and Cumberland county Sheriff's departments.

He has been suspended without pay. Raeford Police officials say an internal investigation is underway.

Underwood turned himself in and posted $30,000 bond. The district attorney's office would not comment on the case, and the State Bureau of Investigation refused an on-camera interview.