Man arrested after fleeing rape trial

Gary Franklin Simmons, 43 (image courtesy Gaston County Sheriff's Office)

A man who fled court during a statutory rape trial was arrested Saturday night. He was convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl.

Gary Simmons was found hiding in his girlfriend's attic in Belmont.

Investigators were surveillancing the home which helped them determine that he was likely inside.

Simmons was arrested without incident and his girlfriend is also facing charges.

Read more from WSOC.

During the trial, Simmons told his lawyer he needed to go outside and clear his head.

"I told him, 'Yes, but don't be gone longer than 10 minutes,' and that's the last I saw of him," defense attorney Larry Hoyle said.

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