STANFORD, Ky. (WDKY) – A North Carolina man is facing kidnapping and sexual assault charges after an incident in Lincoln County.
Police say a truck driver is accused of kidnapping a 17-year-old girl and then assaulting her in Lincoln County, but he says it’s all just a big misunderstanding.
Police say they were called Tuesday night around 10 p.m. to Lincoln Plaza where someone had reported seeing a teenage girl running from a semi-truck. The caller said a man got out of the truck, chased the girl down, assaulted her and then forcefully took her back to the truck.
When officers got there, police say they could hear frantic screaming coming from inside the sleeper area of the semi. The officers went into the cab and the 17-year-old victim ran out and into the arms of an officer.
Police say 29-year-old Noe Juarez from North Carolina was arrested on charges of kidnapping, assault and sexual assault.
The mayor and police chief are praising the officers for getting her away from a dangerous situation.
“We do know that, when we made contact, she was being held against her will. She didn’t want to be there at that time,” said Stanford Police Chief Zach Middleton.
But from jail, Juarez has a different story. He says he’s been having a relationship with this girl, and on Tuesday night they were just having an argument.
“We’re together,” Juarez said. “Been together 11 months.”
Juarez says once the truth is out, it will all become clear.
“We had been arguing since earlier that morning. But that’s it,” Juarez said. “She has sent my mother text messages that none of that is true. I didn’t do anything.”
Police say it wasn’t a random kidnapping or human trafficking, but a crime was still committed.
“She was here. Didn’t want to be here, wanted to get away,” Chief Middleton said.
In fact, during all this, police say she lost a sentimental item she pleaded with officers to find. The mayor found it the next day.
“It was laying on the edge of a pothole, the sun hit it just right,” Mayor Dalton Miller said.
Police say the 17-year-old was treated at a hospital and social services worked to relocate her with her family from out of state.
The investigation is still ongoing.