Registered sex offender accused of trying to snatch girl in yard of Franklin County home

Crime Tracker

YOUNGSVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A convicted sex offender is back behind bars after trying to abduct a teenage girl from her front lawn, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said on Jan. 19 at 8:45 p.m., 51-year-old William Mims grabbed a 15-year-old girl who was playing on the front lawn of her Cureton Drive home along with another teenager. Mims is accused of grabbing the girl by the arm, but her mother was on the front porch at the time and pulled in the girl into the house.

“It’s crazy. I would have never expected that around here. I was totally unaware that happened,” said Tamra Williams, who lives on Cureton Drive.

According to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Mims registered as a sex offender in 2006 after serving six years in prison for a 1999 kidnapping and sexual assault case involving a victim over the age of 18.

People who live on Cureton Drive said Mims often rode his bike through the neighborhood. He was known to do yard work.

One woman, who asked not to be identified, said she was shocked by Mims’ arrest. She said he was open about his sex offender status.

“He’s a helpful person. He did yard work for me. He helped me with repairs around my house and everything,” she said.

Other neighbors, like Steven Chalk, were shocked and concerned to learn not only of the attempted abduction but also that Mims was a sex offender.

“I’m going to keep my kids close. I’m not going to let them out of my sight now. It just goes to show you think you know someone, and you really don’t. I’ve seen that man every day for four or five years and never knew that” Chalk said.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said Mims stayed from time to time on Cureton Drive but was not registered as a sex offender in Franklin County.

Once they are released from prison, sex offenders must register in the county where they live.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said Mims was registered at a home in Wake Forest. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said they verified Mims was staying at the Wake Forest address on Nov. 13, 2019.

A deputy went to check again on Jan. 22. However, Mims was behind bars. His parents confirmed he had been staying at the address, according to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.

Court records showed Mims had a sex offender residence violation in 2007, as well as a series of drugs, breaking and entering, assault, and arson charges dating back to 1986.

According to the SBI, there are 759 registered sex offenders in Wake County.

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said deputies verify each offender’s address six times per year. In addition, registered sex offenders must check-in at the sheriff’s office two times a year.

Mims is currently being held in the Franklin County Detention Center under a $70,000 secured bond.

Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to call Detective Dean Woody at 919-340-4369.

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