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franklin county times

Man charged with sex abuse

A Spruce Pine man was arrested on Monday after being accused of sexually abusing a young child.

Freddy Hovater, 71, 110 Iris Lane, Spruce Pine, was arrested and charged with sexual torture of a child under 12 and first-degree sexual abuse, officials said.

According to Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver, Hovater is accused of sexually abusing a female victim, who is a family acquaintance, using objects such as the wooden handle of a bell and a vibrator.

He is also accused of watching her take baths.

Oliver said the abuse had allegedly taken place for a year before it was reported to authorities.

The abuse reportedly took place at Hovater’s home when the girl would be there visiting, Oliver said.

Hovater is in custody on a $250,000 bond.