Jailed sex offender faces a new felony charge in connection with another child victim

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Douglas Edwards (center) appeared in district court Friday morning to face charges in a kidnapping and sexual assault of girl. (Photo by Christina Haley)
Douglas Edwards (center) made his first-appearance in district court to face charges in a kidnapping, sexual assault and attempted murder of 6-year-old girl in September 2016. (File photo by Christina Haley)

WILMINGTON — Jailed sexual offender Douglas Edwards faces a new charge this week in connection with taking indecent liberties with another child victim.

Edwards, 47, was served with a warrant Wednesday, charged with one count of taking indecent liberties with a child, according to New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Lt. Jerry Brewer. He has been jailed since September 2016 in connection with an incident involving the kidnapping, sexual assault and attempted murder of a 6-year-old girl.

Brewer said a woman contacted the sheriff’s office after she realized Edwards worked as a contractor at her house while her young daughter was home. The woman claimed Edwards “touched” her daughter, Brewer said.

Detectives began an investigation on Sept. 14, 2016, and brought about the charge this week. Edwards was served with the warrant on Feb. 1, while in jail on similar charges related to the September child abduction case.

On Sept. 14, 2016, a man on a black moped snatched the 6-year-old from the driveway of her home. The following day, girl was found alive in a heavily wooded area within two miles of her house. Edwards was arrested shortly after the child was located.

Edwards was indicted in relation to the case on Nov. 14, 2016. He was charged with first-degree kidnapping, two counts of indecent liberties with a child, statutory sex offense with a child by an adult, statutory rape of a child by an adult, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, and attempted first-degree murder.

Douglas Nelson Edwards
Douglas Nelson Edwards

Edwards was previously just over two decades ago of first-degree sexual offense, indecent liberties with a child and crimes against nature in New Hanover County. He was ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years in prison when he was convicted on May 30, 1996, according to prison records.

According to the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry, Edwards was 24 years old in October 1994 when he committed those offenses against the child victim, then a 6-year-old. He was required register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Edwards has remained in the custody of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office for a total of 142 days, as of Friday. He was booked in jail on Sept. 15, and is being held without bond.