Spring Lake sex assault suspect faces judge

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The bond for Nathan Cooley, the suspect in the kidnapping and sexual assault of an 11-year-old, was quadrupled during Tuesday's hearing.

A Cumberland County judge has made it harder for a convicted sex offender to get out of jail any time soon.

Tuesday, Judge Lu Olivera quadrupled Nathan Cooley's bond from $250,000 to one million dollars.

Cooley, 28, is charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in Spring Lake.

Authorities say sometime between 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, Cooley approached the child in the 500 block of Odell Road in Spring Lake. They said Cooley posed as a police officer, asking the girl to help him find a dog. Then they said the man lured her into the woods where he sexually assaulted her. When the girl began to cry and ask for her mother, police said Cooley dropped her off at the Spring Lake Public Library.

Cooley was with an attorney when he turned himself in at the Magistrate's Office at the Cumberland County Detention Center Saturday.

Cooley has contacted media outlets claiming to be innocent. He said surveillance from several other places in the area will prove he couldn't have committed the crime.

Spring Lake police say he did not make any statements to detectives after he surrendered Saturday.

Cooley, a registered sex offender, has a record of those offenses dating back to 2004 and 2010.

At his first court appearance Tuesday, District Attorney Billy West argued that Cooley's record and the seriousness of the crime justifies a one million dollar bond.

The judge agreed and raised Cooley's bond. Cooley also asked for a court appointed attorney.

His next court appearance is later this month.

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