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Former Hickory Metro Resident Charged After Allegedly Being Caught With Minor

A former Alexander County resident has been charged with child-sex related crimes in another county.

According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, On March 5, Deputies responded to a report of a breaking or entering in progress. When they arrived, the resident informed them that when he got home, he found a male, identified as 49-year-old Stacy Lee Austin, inside with the resident’s 15-year-old child.

Investigators discovered that Austin, a former Taylorsville resident, drove to the victim’s home from Belmont, Ohio, and had been communicating with the juvenile on a social media application. In those conversations, Austin tried to arrange to pick the juvenile up and while he was at the victim’s home, he performed sexual activities with them.

Investigators found Austin’s underwear in a wastebasket in the home along with some of the juvenile’s clothing. When questioned about the incident, Austin admitted to the sexual acts and was concerned about losing his job as owner of a Chik-fil-a in Ohio.

Austin was charged with two felony counts of soliciting a child by computer and one felony count of statutory sex offense with a child. He was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under no bond due to the Pretrial Integrity Act. A District Court date is set for June 5.

[Story and photo of Austin courtesy of Rick Gilbert, WACB]