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Kings Mountain is a small suburban city within the Charlotte metropolitan area in Cleveland and Gaston counties, North Carolina. Most of the city is in Cleveland County, with a small eastern portion in Gaston County. The population is roughly 11,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented within the city, including instances of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors.
In October 2020, a North Carolina man was arrested by the Kings Mountain Police and charged with with sexual servitude with a child victim, child abuse including a sexual act, rape of a child by an adult, statutory sex offense with child by an adult, and human trafficking with a child victim. He was accused of accused of keeping a child in sexual servitude since 2015, whom he would take to different locations and rape. During his initial court hearing he requested a bond reduction and was denied.
In March 2021, a 72-year-old man accused of raping a teenage girl for 11 years was arrested. William K. Huffstetler, of Kings Mountain, faces 21 child sexual assault charges. Huffstetler manipulated the girl from 2009 to 2020, according to investigators. She was reportedly 13 when the abuse began. Now a young woman, Huffstetler’s accuser finally felt confident enough to report her allegations to the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office about four days ago. Huffstetler was brought in for questioning and subsequently placed in Cleveland County Jail. He is charged with 11 counts of statutory rape, three counts of human trafficking an adult victim, one count of human trafficking a child victim and six other child sexual assault offenses. He is being held on a $250,000 bond. While investigators say they’re always looking into other possible victims in child sex crimes, Huffstetler has no other accusers who have come to the Sheriff’s Office.
In April 2021, a Kings Mountain woman was charged with human trafficking after investigators say she accepted money to allow a 47-year-old man to have sex with her teenage son. The illicit interactions began in December and ended in March, according to arrest warrants. The FBI became aware of allegations of a man (who was a security guard for a firm that patrolled the FBI and other federal buildings) having sex with the 15-year-old boy. After investigating the man’s home in York, South Carolina, they found collars and other bondage object, according to search warrants. They also located the man and the teenager. The man was charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor or attempt – victim under 16 years of age – second degree. He was held without bond. The woman was located at her home in Kings Mountain and arrested on $100,000 bond.
Kings Mountain Police Department
Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office
York Police Department
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- https://www.wbtv.com/story/11663850/ten-people-busted-in-prostitution-sting/ (2009)
- https://myfox8.com/news/former-kings-mountain-pastor-faces-2nd-prostitution-charge/ (2012)
- https://www.shelbystar.com/photogallery/NC/20190508/NEWS/508009999/PH/1 (2019)
Background on Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- https://www.wbtw.com/news/state-regional-news/north-carolina-man-accused-of-keeping-child-as-sex-slave-since-2015/ (2020)
- https://statesville.com/news/state-and-regional/crime-and-courts/man-kept-girl-as-sex-slave-for-over-five-years-kings-mountain-police-say/article_8168fe79-0d3e-5f08-8e3d-01e1b8f339c6.html (2020)
- https://www.gastongazette.com/story/news/crime/2021/03/04/kings-mountain-man-faces-human-trafficking-child-sex-charges/6920178002/ (2021)
- https://www.shelbystar.com/story/news/2021/kings-mountain-woman-accused-taking-money-access-her-son/ (2021)