The Wilkes Sheriff’s Office has charged a convicted sex offender with first-degree kidnapping/abduction and multiple counts of statutory rape and indecent liberties with a minor.

Robert Edward Wagner, 29, of Shook Lane, Taylorsville, was arrested on May 8.

Capt. Brandon Absher of the sheriff’s office said Wagner is charged with transporting a juvenile teenage girl from one location in Wilkes to a different location in Wilkes without the parents’ permission, which he said meets statutory requirements for a first-degree kidnapping charge.

Absher said that because of the victim’s age (15 at the time), by law she lacked the ability to consent to be moved without her parent’s permission and could not consent to a sexual relationship with Wagner.

The Wilkes Sheriff’s Office began investigating the case after receiving word from the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office about a possible statutory rape by a convicted sex offender. The offense date is listed as March 22. Det. Amanda Boyd is the investigating officer.

Absher said the Alexander Sheriff’s Office arrested Wagner on the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office warrants. Wagner is now in the Wilkes County Jail with a $1 million secured bond.

Wagner was convicted of indecent liberties with a minor in Alexander County Superior Court in September 2014, for an offense that occurred in May 2013. He was put on probation for 36 months.

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