ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A suspect has now been charged in a rape case investigation from last year that involved a victim who suffered from mental disabilities, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

An investigation was launched in 2022 after a 22-year-old autistic woman was hospitalized for injuries sustained from a sexual assault, according to the sheriff’s office.

Detectives identified Terry Harward, Jr., 56, as the suspect, and that the suspect was known to the victim. He was arrested on Wednesday.

Investigators said Harward raped the victim and assaulted her with objects. Harward faces multiple charges including forcible rape and forcible sex offenses. He was being held on a $75,000 secured bond and is awaiting trial.