The Craven County Sheriff’s Office is reportedly hunting for a 37-year-old man who allegedly sexually assaulted a five-year-old child he was babysitting, according to reports. Authorities have sought the public's assistance, through a Facebook appeal, in finding the man believed to be from Cove City, North Carolina.
Deputies have identified the suspect as Michael Brandon Bryan and his last known address has been listed as Highway 55 in Cove City. Reports state that Bryan is wanted on felony charges of statutory rape of a child, and statutory sex offense in connection with the sexual assault of the child he was babysitting, according to WLFA.
According to investigators, Bryan is driving a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche with North Carolina license plate PLX-6128. The Sheriff’s Office has released a statement saying that the suspect's vehicle is beige in color. The officials, in their wanted alert, also stated that anyone with information on Bryan's location should call the Craven County Sheriff’s Office at 252-636-6620, call Craven County Communications at 252-633-2357, or call their local law enforcement agency.
Craven County Crime Stoppers is reportedly also offering a reward for any significant information leading to the suspect's arrest. To leave an anonymous tip, you can call this number: 252-633-5141.
The search for Bryan comes after the state of North Carolina advanced legislation that will give levy to child sexual abuse victims, until they are almost 40, to sue for civil damages in the state, according to reports. Felony child abuse crimes have no statute of limitations. However, those who were assaulted when they were under the age of 18 have only three years (till the age of 21) to sue their assailants.
The House Judiciary Committee had approved the new measure with an overwhelming majority in June. Under the new legislation, the deadline has been extended to until the victims turn 38.