DOBSON — A Pilot Mountain couple have been arrested on felony charges of sexually abusing two children.
Sheriff Graham Atkinson said one of the two children reported the crime to school officials. School officials notified the Department of Social Services, which reported the crimes to his office.
As a result of an ensuing investigation, Joseph Michael Spencer, 31, and Diana Lynn Hodges, 31, both of 127 Boris Lane, were arrested Tuesday.
Spencer has been charged with two counts of sex offense with a child, soliciting a crime against nature, incest with a child under 13, indecent liberties with a child, and rape of a child by an adult.
Atkinson said the children were one female and one male, both under the age of 12.
Already a convicted sex offender in Catawba County, Spencer is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond. He had previously been convicted of the 2007 sexual battery of a 4-year-old, according to the North Carolina Department of Justice Sex Offender Registry.
Hodges is charged with felony child abuse involving sex. Her bond is set at $25,000 secured.
The sheriff described the situation encountered by investigators as “horrible.”
“It was very bad. Extremely bad,” he said. “While any case involving the sexual abuse of children is bad, the information relayed to me by investigators makes it difficult to understand how one human being can do something like this to another human being.”
He said the children will be dealing with the associated trauma “for years to come.”
“Hopefully, they’re going to be in a place now where they can get the love and support they need to be able to overcome it,” he said.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.