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Lowgap man facing thirteen felony charges

An arrest earlier this month of a man with connections to local youth sports has caused some level of concern in Surry County. Some residents, though, said they have been trying to bring the issue to light with one going as far as to call social services.

The Surry County Sheriff’s Office released a statement Wednesday morning giving some of the details about the recent arrest of Bobby Wayne Glidewell, 75, of 485 Hidden Valley Road in Lowgap.

Glidewell was arrested on Sept. 1 and has been charged with six counts of first-degree statutory sex offenses, six counts of indecent liberties with a minor, and one count of crime against nature. All 13 charges are felonious in nature under North Carolina’s criminal statue codes.

Glidewell was arrested in a joint operation by members of the Surry County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

However, more agencies brought resources to bear before an arrest was made. His arrest came after a two-month investigation that was conducted by the Surry County Sheriff’s Office but was brought about from a report out of Ohio, according to the statement Wednesday from Sheriff Steve C. Hiatt.

Glidewell is being held in Dobson at the Surry County Detention Center under a hefty $1 million secured bond. The sheriff’s statement said he had his first court appearance Wednesday, Sept. 13 in Surry County district court. At that time, he received a continuance until Oct. 11.

Sources have reported that they are aware that more charges potentially are pending in the matter that may have gone on for some years before the arrest. They had made attempts repeatedly to report Glidewell to authorities, but there was not sufficient evidence to advance the claims to an investigation.

“I was afraid he was going to be molesting more children,” they said of their attempts to sound the alarm.

For some time Glidewell is said to have had a relationship with youth sports activities in this area. There has been no information provided about any potential victims of the alleged abuse; nor should there be any expected prior to trial given the victims were minors at the time.

The source said Glidewell’s activities have included serving as an umpire for youth sports of Reeves Community Center in Mount Airy, including those geared toward younger children such as tee ball.

For context, taking indecent liberties with a child is classified as a Class F felony for a person who “willfully takes or attempt to take any immoral, improper, or indecent liberties (or attempted lewd or lascivious acts) with a child under the age of 16.”

North Carolina defines first-degree statutory sexual offense as engaging in a sexual act with a victim who is a child under the age of 13 years. There are further stipulations regarding age of consent and age of the accused at the time of the incident which have no bearing to the Glidewell matter given his age.

A crime against nature, “with mankind or beast,” is a rather broad term that covers a wide range of situations that involve both penetrative and oral sex without consent. When one of the parties is a minor, an adult who is incapacitated, or one party is coerced into the act, it falls under this statute and is considered a Class I felony.

More information about the nature of the crimes, gender, or age of victims is unknown but the alarm bells sounding in parent’s heads across the area are real. The fact that at least one member of the community, who at one time had a familial relationship via marriage with the accused, tried to alert Reeves Center and Surry County Department of Social Services about the matter is of concern to some residents.

After many attempts they said they felt disregarded at best and at worst were called an outright liar by even members of their own family.

Without hard evidence though, they had to admit there was little that could be done. “Reeves Center’s hands were tied because there was no evidence so they couldn’t fire him for being umpire… but everyone has heard me saying this for 24 years.”



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