Man charged with child sex crimes


HAMLET — A convicted felon with a violent past is accused of performing sex acts with a child.

George Edward Eldridge Jr., 36, of West Hamlet Avenue, was arrested June 10 on charges of committing a first-degree sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a minor.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Jay Childers said Eldridge was accused of “inappropriate sexual contact with a juvenile.”

A first-degree sex offense occurs when a person engages in sex acts with a child under 13 or engages in a forcible sex act against the victim’s will and either displays a weapon or inflicts serious injury, according to state law.

The charge is a Class B1 felony, the second-most severe crime category in North Carolina’s general statutes. It carries a minimum presumptive prison sentence of 16 years.

Eldridge was released from prison in November 1998 after serving a minimum 3 year, 8 month sentence on convictions of robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, common-law robbery and attempted common-law robbery in Forsyth County.

State records show Eldridge also was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, felony breaking and entering and larceny, all in Forsyth County.

Eldridge was jailed under a $100,000 secured bond. His first court appearance on the charges is scheduled for Thursday.

Corey Friedman