Father of man accused in sex-trafficking, rape of 14-year-old speaks outside Gaston County courthouse

Three men were arrested in a case of sex trafficking and rape involving a teenage girl Monday, the Gastonia Police Department said. 

On Tuesday, the father of one of the men.

“He’s just family. He is one of the family and that's all I can say about him. He's a great guy you know,” said James Duff. 

Duff is the father of 33-year-old Rhodri Ross. Duff didn’t want to speak on camera about the charges against his son. He only wanted to talk about the son he knows-- a father of three who lives with him. 

"I raised him and he's good to help take care of me at my age. I'm 88 years old,” Duff said.

In court, Ross, along with Robert Derr and Jack Philips appeared by video arraignment. 

CHILD RAPE, HUMAN TRAFFICKING CHARGES AFTER ARRESTS IN GASTONIA

Derr is facing the most serious charges including first-degree kidnapping, human trafficking and having sex with a 14-year-old girl.

Phillips is facing four counts of rape with the teenager. 

“He does have family here that supports him, as well as, people who work for him in Belmont. We would ask for the bond to be reduced to $100,000 and he will do whatever it takes. An ankle monitor or anything of that nature,” Phillips’ defendant said in court. 

The judge declined and all three men are still behind bars in the Gaston County Jail. 

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