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April 18, 2024

Man charged with sex offense, soliciting child by computer

Stacy Lee Austin

A former Taylorsville resident has been charged in a crime against a child, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Rowan authorities, on March 5, 2024, deputies with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home on John Michael Lane for a reported breaking or entering in progress. When they arrived, the resident informed them that when he got home, he found a male, identified as 49-year-old Stacy Lee Austin, inside with the resident’s 15-year-old child.

Officers discovered that Austin, formerly of Taylorsville, NC, drove to the victim’s home from Belmont, OH, and had been communicating with the juvenile on a social media application. In those conversations, Austin tried to arrange to pick the juvenile up and while he was at the victim’s home, he performed sexual activities with them.

Investigators located Austin’s underwear in the trashcan of a bathroom in the home along with some of the juvenile’s clothing. When questioned about the incident, Austin admitted to the sexual acts and was concerned about losing his job as owner of a Chik-fil-A in Ohio.

He was charged with Statutory Sex Offense with Victim Age 15 or Less and placed in the Rowan County Detention Center under no bond due to the Pretrial Integrity Act.

Austin was then charged March 7 with two counts of Felony Solicit Child By Computer, arrest records indicate. He was assigned a court date of June 5 in Rowan County on these charges.

A Chick-fil-A spokesperson told qcnews.com (Queen City News): “We have a zero-tolerance policy for the type of serious conduct alleged. Stacy Austin is currently an independent franchise owner, but as the investigation and legal process continues, he will not be present in the restaurant.”

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