Local man facing slew of child sex offense charges in Duplin Co.

(Photo: Duplin County Sheriff's Office)

DUPLIN COUNTY - One local man is facing a slew of child sex offense charges in Duplin County.

Salvador Perez, 31, is charged with 11 counts of indecent liberties, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, first degree statutory sex offense, and assault on a child under 12, among other charges.

Accusations range from molestation to forced sex with children as young as four and as old as 12.

Many residents in the neighborhood are now worried for their kids' safety after hearing about the arrest of Perez.

"You know it happens everywhere else and you know and you hear about it on the news all the time," Barbara Brock said. "And then to know it was right here behind me is really terrifying."

The arrest is both terrifying and unusual for the small town in Duplin, neighbors and officials agreed.

"Not very often that we have situations quite like this one," Sheriff Blake Wallace said.

Arrest warrants show that the abuse took place in multiple residences in the neighborhood where Perez lived, including his own home. The assaults occurred from 2007 to as recent as December of this year.

"The biggest thing that I try to tell parents is just to be very mindful of who your children come in contact with," Wallace said. "A lot of times it's people they think they can trust and it turns out that they're actually preying on these young people and that appears to be the case in this situation."

Perez was arrested on December 4 and made his first court appearance on December 8. He is currently in custody under a $1.5 million secured bond.

Wallace confirmed that officials have identified five victims so far, all of which knew Perez in some capacity.

"Knowing what was happening and it was happening around our neighborhood -- it really upsets me," Brock said.

Wallace said the department is still following several leads and expects more charges to come in the case against Perez.

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