ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. -- The Rowan County Sheriff's Office has arrested a 78-year-old Coy Sheets for sexually assaulting a child in the '80s.
In October, Sheriff’s deputies began investigating after a victim came forward saying Sheets had assaulted them as a child in the 1980s.
According to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office, the investigation led detectives to press a felony charge against Sheets for indecent liberties with a minor. According to the arrest warrant, the victim was under the age of 16 and was assaulted over the period of a year from July 1980 through June 1981.
But since that time, Sheets had been convicted in two other sexual assault cases. He has been on the sex offender registry since 2003.
Tuesday, Sheets was arrested at his home on Earnest Miller Road in Salisbury, but later released on a $2500 bond. His release sparked concerns among neighbors, including Sandra Lyons who lives near Sheets with her four grandkids.
“He should still be in jail; he should not be out here among all these children,” said Lyons.
The Family Crisis Council of Rowan County says all too often, sexual assault victims don’t come forward.
“One is out of fear, one is thinking how long is it going to take, am I going to have to tell everyone about it and one of them is they’re just not so sure they can live through it. By telling the story you sometimes relive it over and over again,” says Renee Bradshaw, the organization’s executive director.
Bradshaw says while it’s hard to do, she feels it very important for all victims to come forward.
“So, that possibly we can get the perpetrators off of the streets,” she said.
Sheets is due in Rowan County Court Thursday.