NEWTON, N.C. -- A Catawba County man is in trouble with the law because he went to church, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office says.
James Dwight Bandy, 38, of Newton, was arrested earlier this week on charges of being a sex offender at or near child premises.
Specifically, authorities say, Bandy is a registered sex offender who is accused of violating the law that prohibits him from being near children.
Larry Seagle, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, says detectives were contacted earlier this month by Catawba County sheriff’s deputies who said Bandy had been given specific instructions not to be within 300 feet of children’s classes.
Instead, Lincoln County officials say, Bandy attended worship services Nov. 24 and last Sunday at New Vision Ministries in Lincolnton. In addition, investigators say, Bandy also attended his Sunday school class.
Deputies say that put Bandy within 300 feet of the church’s daycare and Sunday school classes for children. He was arrested Wednesday and released on $5,000 bond.
According to North Carolina sex offender registry records, Bandy is listed because of an out-of-state incident that happened in January 2010. North Carolina records show the sexual offense involved a 14-year-old.