Local News

Man charged with Durham bus-stop sexual assault

Posted March 9, 2011 9:58 p.m. EST
Updated March 10, 2011 12:57 p.m. EST

— A suspect in the sexual assault of a Durham girl at a school bus stop last week has a history of exposing himself in public, according to court and state Department of Correction records.

Police said they believe that Christopher Brian Cates, 24, of Russell Road, assaulted the 13-year-old girl while she was waiting for the bus at Cornwallis and Century Oaks roads last Friday morning.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrested Cates Wednesday evening near Holloway and Dillard streets. He was charged with first-degree sexual offense, taking indecent liberties with a child, first-degree kidnapping, sexual battery and common-law robbery.

At his first court hearing Thursday morning, the public defender asked for Cates' bond to be lowered from $2 million to $750,000, saying that he has extensive family in Durham.

The judge lowered it to $1 million, citing Cates' prior convictions and calling him a threat to the public.

A probable cause hearing was set for March 31.

Cates was already due in court April 1 to face charges of misdemeanor indecent exposure and two probation violations, according to court records. Details of that case weren't available.

Cates was arrested in December 2007 on charges that he exposed himself to a woman on the American Tobacco Trail in Durham. DOC records show that he was convicted of misdemeanor indecent exposure in March 2008 and sentenced to probation.

In September 2009, he was again convicted of misdemeanor indecent exposure and given probation, to be served concurrently with the previous sentence, according to DOC records.

He was given a third concurrent sentence of probation for two felony vehicle break-in convictions in March 2010.

Prosecutors said that Cates was also convicted of indecent exposure in 2006, but that could not be immediately confirmed through court or DOC records.