Police arrest Hope Mills peeper

HOPE MILLS On Tuesday, authorities charged 55-year-old Willie James Leggett with three counts of secret peeping.

Leggett was a person of interest in the cases, but is not connected to the other incident of a man exposing himself and pointing a pistol at a woman jogger.

That incident happened on March 25 around 6:30 a.m. A woman said she was coming back from jogging when she saw a man standing in her yard. She says he pointed a pistol at her and exposed himself. She then ran to a neighbor's house and the flasher fled.

Leggett is also not connected to a string of rapes in the area.

Last week, Hope Mills Police Chief Robert Hassell called a news conference to make the public aware of the incidents.

Police said they were releasing the information to raise public awareness and to warn people to report anything suspicious right away.

Hassell's department is part of a regional task force that's investigating seven recent rapes in Fayetteville and Hope Mills.

The task force also recently announced new charges against Fort Bragg soldier Aaron M. Pernell, 22, for alleged rapes in Hoke County and Fayetteville. That is on top of charges already filed by military officials for two alleged burglaries and a sexual assault at Fort Bragg.

Detectives are also asking for help solving the rape cases. Anyone with information can call the Sexual Assault Tip Line at (910) 433-1934.

Meanwhile, Leggett has been released from jail on a $1,500 unsecured bond.

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