Cleveland sex offender arrested on new sex assault charges

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A Cleveland man who was already on the sex offender registry has been arrested again in Iredell County.

A report filed June 14 with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office by the parent of a minor child says the child had received objectionable text messages from Arnold Joe Eberhart.

The report was assigned to Detective Sgt. Katie Harwell of the Special Victims Unit for investigation.

She found that Eberhart had sent multiple text messages to a 12-year-old girl in an attempt to persuade her to meet him at a location near her home.

The text messages were sexual in nature. Eberhart told the girl he wanted to meet her outside and commit a sexual act, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Harwell obtained a felony warrant for Eberhart’s arrest on a charge of soliciting a child by computer

Eberhart was arrested June 24 by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. He was given an $8,000 secured bond by a Rowan County magistrate.

In 1995, Eberhart was placed on the Rowan County Sex Offender Registry for one count of second-degree rape. He was released from state prison in 2003 and placed on the sex offender registry.

His criminal history includes misdemeanor injury to personal property; two counts of misdemeanor probation violation; misdemeanor assault on a female; misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon; felony possession of Schedule II controlled substance; felony possession with intent to sell and deliver controlled substance; felony second-degree rape; felony assault with a deadly weapon; three counts of felony breaking and entering; three counts of felony larceny by employee; felony failure to notify of an address change by a sex offender; and felony habitual breaking and entering.