- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 22, 2020

RAEFORD, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina man has been apprehended and charged with more than 300 counts of sex crimes involving children, a sheriff said.

Joshuah Taylor Bradshaw of Raeford was apprehended in Etta, Mississippi, by the FBI last Thursday and extradited to North Carolina, Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said in a news release. The sheriff said detectives were sent to a home in Raeford in August in response to a report of a juvenile sexual assault. An investigation into the alleged incident led to 156 warrants being issued, Peterkin said.

Peterkin said Bradshaw is charged with 332 counts including statutory sexual offense with a child and crimes against nature. According to the sheriff, the alleged victims are as young as 5 years old, and more than 133 alleged victims have been identified. The assaults began in February, and Peterkin said some of the victims were physically assaulted and some of the children were not touched but were instead exploited on the internet.

Bradshaw appeared in court Monday and was appointed a public defender who was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Peterkin also said the ongoing investigation could result in additional charges.

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