Charlotte Citizens Review Board Leader Charged With Sex Crimes Spanning 22 Years
The chairman of the Charlotte board that reviews law enforcement complaints has been arrested and charged with a slew of underage sex crimes that police say took place over a 22-year span.
Henry Thomas Black Jr. faces multiple charges involving two victims — including statutory rape, statutory sex offense, indecent liberties with children, child abuse including a sexual act and incest, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.
Black, 49, was arrested Thursday morning in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and will be extradited to Mecklenburg County.
Black chairs the Citizens Review Board, which reviews misconduct complaints against CMPD. Black is also the co-founder of Genesis Project 1 Inc., which works with families facing crises. The group's website says it introduces new skills and provides opportunities to "youth adults in order to deter negative life decisions and inspire families."
Deputy CMPD Chief Gerald Smith says the alleged crimes took place from 1996-2018 but that law enforcement wasn't notified until Sept. 3 when one survivor, now an adult, came forward.
"Their persistence sought out justice," Smith said of the survivors during a news conference. "Twenty-two years they have been pushing and telling people this and finally it got into the hands of law enforcement."
Smith said the survivors were "very young" when the alleged crimes began, and that they confided in other people who did not inform authorities. Some of the people they confided in, Smith said, had legal obligations to report abuse, but he did not provide specifics.
"There were times that these survivors … actually had the courage to approach adults — people who were in positions to report …. and told them this abuse was taking place and those people did nothing," Smith said. "… We are currently looking into those subjects right now and trying to track them down and interview them."
Smith also said people could help with the investigation by calling Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.