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Man faces 16 child rape charges after hiding out in teen’s closet for 5 days

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After meeting and chatting it up on the Internet with a 14-year-old girl, Jarred Ashley Workman, 27, allegedly hid in the little girl’s closet of her North Carolina home for five days before finally being discovered there when the teen’s mother went to hang up some of her daughter’s clothes. Workman ran away from the mama and turned himself in two weeks later to deputies at the Iredell County Sheriff's Office on May 19.

According to USA Today, after surrendering himself to authorities, Workman, who hails from Albemarle, N.C., was charged with 11 counts of felony statutory rape and five counts of felony statutory sex offense. He’s currently in jail being held on “more than a $1 million bond.” Workman had his first appearance in court earlier today. If convicted, the judge informed him he could be sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole – bringing gasps from the courtroom audience.

Workman and his 14-year-old victim chatted online for about a month before they met in the woods near the teen’s home about an hour north of Charlotte. After their initial encounter, he snuck into the little girl’s family home, unbeknownst to anyone else living in the house except his minor victim.

"During the day, he was either in her closet or in her bedroom, and when she would come home from school or on the weekend or whatever, he would come out in evenings," said Lt. Bill Hamby, a detective with the Iredell County Sheriff's Office here. The family is not being identified because of the nature of the charges.

Workman hid out in the little girl’s bedroom closet from April 27 through May 2. Police say that during that five day span, Workman had sex with the victim “several times.”

WCNC in Charlotte reported that when the mother discovered Workman in his daughter’s closet that Workman dropped his cell phone and wallet as he fled the home. And that’s how the cops identified him.

Regarding discovering Workman in her daughter’s closet, the horrified mother said, “I was sorta shocked more than anything. I asked him who he was and he said Jarred Workman and he was 19,” according to WSOC.

Workman will be back in court on June 2 in Stanly County where he’ll be facing his first three felony charges of identity theft, unlawfully obtaining a credit card and obtaining property under false pretenses. And on June 30, he’ll be back in that same North Carolina courtroom facing felony charges of fleeing and eluding arrest as well as probation violation. Workman does have a prior criminal history.

As police continue their investigation into Workman’s background, they plan on checking out his history on social media. "For these predators to prey on these children, it's real frustrating," Hamby said.

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