Salisbury man charged with rape of young girl

Published 9:57 am Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Salisbury man remains behind bars under a $1 million bond after he was charged with the rape and ongoing molestation of a young girl.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office charged Joseph Nathaniel Cranford, 20, of the 200 block of Lippard Road, with two counts of felony first-degree rape, five counts of felony first-degree sex offense and two counts felony obscenity/disseminating obscenity.

The girl, now 10 years old, gave a note to a teacher at a Rowan County elementary school saying she’d been repeatedly molested. The girl said the abuse occurred when she was 7 and 8 years old. The child spent time at Cranford’s home, and that is where the abuse occurred, Rowan officials said.

The teacher reported the incident to the principal, who then contacted law enforcement. The girl reported the incident Jan. 29 and Cranford was charged Wednesday night.

The incidents are alleged to have occurred between March 30, 2011, and March 31, 2012. In addition to the reported abuse, an arrest warrant said Cranford also showed the child a pornographic movie.