Crime & Courts

Authorities looking for Lincolnton man charged with child sexual assault

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a man they say is charged with sexually assaulting a minor.

Jose Manuel Palafox Vasquez, 25, of Lincolnton, has been charged with one felony count of rape/sex act with a person 13, 14, or 15 years old by a defendant at least six years older than the victim, officials said.

Warrants were issued Thursday for Vasquez, who also goes by the alias of Cristian Aponte Rivera, the sheriff’s office said.

The charge against Vasquez came Tuesday, after the parents of a 14-year-old female came to the sheriff’s office to report the incident that happened at their home in late February. Vasquez was known by the family through their church, officials said.

Vasquez was last seen on Monday at the RSI Plant in Maiden where he works, driving a green, four-door 1995 Toyota Corolla, according to the sheriff’s office. The license plate is North Carolina ADS-5194.

Anyone with information about Vasquez’s whereabouts should call Lincoln County Detectives Sally Dellinger or Dan Renn: 704-732-9050; the Lincoln County Communications Center: 704-735-8202 or Crime Stoppers: 704-736-8909.