LINCOLNTON, NC (FOX 46) - A Charlotte man is accused of having inappropriate relationships with children after a month long undercover investigation by Lincolnton Police.
The operation involved undercover detectives portraying a child on various social media outlets. During the operation detectives and Churchwell made an agreement for Churchwell to meet the child in Lincolnton in order to have an unlawful sexual relationship.
Churchwell showed up at the planned location to meet the child where he was then arrested.
Churchwell was charged with one count of solicit a child for an unlawful sex act by a computer and appearing to meet such child, four counts of disseminating obscene material to a minor, and one count of third degree sexual exploitation of a child, all felony charges.
He was given a $250,000 secured bond. His first court appearance was on Thursday, December 29.
As a result of the arrest, further evidence was located that appears to show that Churchwell has participated in sexual acts with children in the past, according to police. A search warrant was issued for Churchwell’s residence in Charlotte. Lincolnton Police Department and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers executed the search warrant. Additional evidence was located and seized.
“Evidence discovered in this case shows that Churchwell possessed pornographic and obscene pictures of children. This evidence has been seized and an effort will be made to determine the possible sources of the images and to try to locate and identify any potential victims from the evidence. All resources available will be utilized in an effort to locate and identify the victims as well as to determine the chain of distribution, if any, of the images” said Lt. Jason Munday of the Lincolnton Police Department. “The main goal is to identify any other potential victims in an effort to provide services as needed and to develop any other potential charges towards Churchwell and any other offenders associated with this case.”
This case is still active and additional charges are possible.
If anyone can provide any information about Churchwell or this case or any other possible victims as it relates to Churchwell please contact Lincolnton Police Department at (704) 736-8900.