LOWELL, N.C. — A police officer in North Carolina is accused of raping and impregnating the teenager he was once assigned to find in a missing persons investigation, according to a lawsuit.
The girl, who was 13 at the time, was reported missing in 2015. Lowell Police Officer James Paul Blair was put on the case and eventually he found the young teen, reported the Charlotte Observer.
Not long after finding her, court documents say he started visiting her home saying he wanted to mentor her. It was part of Blair’s duties to be a law enforcement mentor and work with children, the lawsuit said.
But that isn’t what happened, says the lawsuit.
The suit says Blair started showing up at the house late at night, giving the girl candy and offering to driver her around in his police cruiser. It was during some of the cruiser rides that Blair is accused of raping the young teen while he was still on duty.
The North Carolina family filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against a city near Charlotte, North Carolina, saying Blair committed statutory rape because the minor couldn’t legally consent to sex.
He is accused of raping her when she was 13 years old, and she discovered she was pregnant in 2016, delivering a boy in 2017, the lawsuit said.
He was eventually charged with statutory rape, fired days later, pleaded guilty in 2017 and was sentenced to 12 years in prison, the Gaston Gazette reported.
The new lawsuit also said Blair had sexual contact with multiple female minors prior to 2015, and the city and police chief are liable for his conduct because they negligently hired him.
An attorney for the city and chief said his clients would deny any liability for Blair’s actions.