JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A Richlands man is facing sex-related charges against a minor after he was arrested on Tuesday.

Deputies with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation on Jan. 14 after a report that a minor had been sexually abused by a 24-year-old man. The victim and suspect were known to each other, investigators said.

Michael Lee Sydes of Gregory Fork Road in Richlands was arrested without incident and taken before a magistrate. He was charged with the following:

  • Two counts of statutory sex offense with child 15 years or younger, felony
  • One count of indecent liberties, felony
  • One count of solicit child by computer, felony
  • One count disseminating obscene material to minor under the age of 16, felony

Sydes was placed in the Onslow County Detention Center under a $207,000 secured bond. He also had his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Anyone with information about this incident may call Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 455-3113, Det. R. Brown or Crime Stoppers at (910) 938-3273. Please refer to case 2021-000461 when calling. Crime Stoppers offers cash reward of up to $2,500 for information that is deemed of value or assistance to law enforcement. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and never have to reveal their identity.