Child rape, human trafficking charges after arrests in Gastonia

A child victim under the age of 15 is believed to be connected to a human trafficking arrest that was made on Monday in Gastonia, authorities are saying.

The seven-month-long investigation culminated with three arrests. Gastonia residents Robert Derr and Rhodri Ross along with Belmont resident Jack Phillips are being held in the Gaston County jail. Ross and Phillips face multiple charges including rape with a child of less than 15 years old. Derr faces multiple charges including indecent liberties with a child and human trafficking with a child victim.

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The Gaston County Police made the arrests and worked closely during the lengthy investigation with the Violent Crimes Task Force and District Attorney's Office.