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North Carolina sex offender charged with 26 counts of child exploitation, sheriff's office says

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A sex offender is now charged with 26 counts of child exploitation, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Deputies said 23-year-old Lucas Owen Atwater, of Hillsborough, was arrested Friday with the assistance of the Department of Public Safety.

Atwater is charged with 26 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and a felony probation violation.

He is currently a registered sex offender, according to the sheriff’s office.

Investigators said Atwater’s arrest is the result of a three-month-long investigation that started with a tip from the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force.

They said third-degree exploitation of a minor involves possessing material containing a visual representation of a minor engaged in sexual activity.

Atwater was held in the Orange County Detention Center over the weekend under no bond.

He is scheduled to appear in court at 2 p.m. Monday.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sergeant D. Hendricks, the lead investigator in this case, at 919-245-2951.

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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