NC man held on $3M bond for multiple rape charges in ‘disturbing’ case, sheriff says


Jonathan Candelaria in a photo from WBTW

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WBTW) – Deputies arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with multiple rapes and robberies throughout Robeson County.

Jonathan Candelaria, of Lumberton, was arrested at his home on Monday by the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division.

According to the sheriff’s office, the first assault occurred in August 2019 in Maxton; the second assault occurred on September 2019 in Lumberton; the third offense occurred on October 2019 in Fairmont, and the fourth assault occurred on March 15, 2020, in Lumberton

Candelaria is charged with three counts of first-degree forcible sex offense, two counts of second-degree rape, one count of second-degree forcible sex offense, four counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of common law robbery.

Candelaria was placed in the custody of Robeson County Detention Center with a $3 million secured bond.

A recent interview and follow up interviews in other cases assisted the investigators with identifying Candeleria, according to the sheriff’s office.

“This has been a disturbing investigation and I applaud the victims for coming forward with their information,”  Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said in a news release. “As this investigation continues, we have reason to believe there may be more victims across the county.”

Anyone with information these cases or unreported cases is asked to call Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 671-3100 or (910) 671-3170.

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