GASTONIA, N.C. -- A Lowell police officer charged with having sex with a 13-year-old girl he was mentoring made his first appearance in court Friday.
Relatives say the girl is reportedly pregnant.
Now-suspended Lowell police officer James Blair spoke just once in court, telling the judge he would wait to make comments until he could meet with his court-appointed attorney. The district attorney told the judge he has a lot of evidence in the case, including incriminating texts from the defendant to the teen.
Blair is charged with statutory rape after the mother of a then 13-year-old girl reportedly told police Blair had a sexual relationship with her daughter. That girl turned 14 in August.
In addition to the text messages, the DA says he has statements from multiple people.
“We have the defendant admitting it to the young lady’s mother,” the DA told the judge.
The girl's family was not in court Friday, but the defendants' older brother, Ken Ravels, says he knows his brother was a mentor to the girl — but he doesn’t believe the two had sex.
“I want to believe he didn’t, I don’t think he did," Ravels said.
Ravels went as far as suggesting the teenager could take responsibility of the alleged relationship. When asked if he could fault a 13-year-old when Blair is not only an adult, but a police officer, Ravels responded, "That's what makes it bad, him being a police officer."
The judge kept Blair's bond at $1 million.
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