05/13/10 — Man, 29, charged in rape of child

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Man, 29, charged in rape of child

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on May 13, 2010 1:46 PM

Norman Joseph Horn

DUDLEY -- A Verbena Lane man was jailed under a $1 million bond for the first-degree rape of a child, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office says.

Norman Joseph Horn, 29, was immediately identified as a suspect after authorities received a complaint on Tuesday that an 11-year-old girl had been molested.

Horn is a family acquaintance of the 11-year-old, Capt. Tom Effler said.

Effler said the investigation into the case took less than 24 hours.

"These are very serious charges," Effler said, adding that he did not want to release much more information to protect the identity of the alleged victim.

According to state law, a person is guilty of first-degree rape if the person has engaged in vaginal intercourse with a child under age 13, where a defendant is at least 12 years old and four or more years older than the victim.

First-degree rape can also be defined by use of a dangerous or deadly weapon, or "an article which the other person reasonably believes to be a ... weapon," according to the law.

The charge is a Class B1 felony, which is among the most serious charges that a defendant can face in North Carolina.