INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. -- Union County deputies are searching for a 29-year-old man accused of raping a teenage girl and assaulting her mother.
Arrest warrants have been issued charging Luis Alberto Cruz-Rojas with two counts of second-degree rape, one count of second-degree kidnapping and one count of assault on a female.
PHOTOS: Luis Alberto Cruz-Rojas
Sheriff’s office spokesperson Tony Underwood tells NBC Charlotte Cruz-Rojas did know this alleged victim, who is a minor, through some sort of family acquaintance. He did not go into further detail in order to protect her identity.
Cruz-Rojas is accused of sexually assaulting and raping the victim at least twice in the past year, but it was just reported this week. Deputies say when this suspect realized a report had been filed, he took off.
“At this point, we’re trying to find him and give him the opportunity to give his side of the story,” Underwood said. “Once the suspect became aware, there was a report made to law enforcement he allegedly physically assaulted the victim’s mother.”
Deputies say the mother’s injuries were minor, and that the assault stemmed from an argument related to the allegations.
“He was trying to convince her not to go forward with notifying law enforcement,” Underwood explained. “Once she convinced him he needed to do the right thing he pushed her, shoved her, then fled and he hasn’t been seen since.”
Cruz-Rojas reportedly lived off Walkup Avenue in Monroe, a predominately Hispanic area, for a while.
Neighbors told NBC Charlotte’s Savannah Levins they are afraid this alleged crime may cause people to judge the entire community.
“We are not like that, we are hardworking people, we do our best,” one woman said. “We came here to work and give our best to the community. He chose wrong. But it’s not all of us.”
Cruz-Rojas was last known to live in the Indian Trail area, although it was not specified exactly where.
Deputies say they don’t believe Cruz-Rojas has any criminal or violent history.
Cruz-Rojas drives a late 90s early 2000s white ford explorer. If you see him, call 911 right away.
Those with information about Cruz-Rojas is asked to call 704-283-3789.