CARTERET COUNTY -

A Carteret County man is accused of kidnapping and and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl.

According to the Carteret County Sheriff's Office, 23-year-old Clayton Ray Lowery Jr., of Newport, was arrested Monday evening.

Arrest warrants state that Lowery allegedly kidnapped the 17-year-old girl, restrained her and sexually assaulted her some time between Saturday and Sunday.

Lowery allegedly punched the victim in the face and beat her "with his fists and feet," causing an orbital fracture, according to the warrants. The suspect is also accused of using a pocket knife to cut the victim's clothes.

In addition, the warrants state that Lowery allegedly choked the victim and repeatedly slammed the girl's head onto the floor.

Lowery has been charged with the following:

- First-degree kidnapping;
- First-degree sexual offense;
- Assault by strangulation;
- Assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury;
- Assault inflicting serious injury;
- Assault with a deadly weapon;
- Communicating threats.

Lowery is being held in the Carteret County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

NewsChannel 12 spoke with Lowery's mother, who said her son is also a victim in this incident. She said Lowery is a good man who is just involved with the wrong crowd.

A neighbor who did not want to be identified reacted to the allegations.

"Well, you hear a lot of screaming and yelling, beating in the house and cussing," the neighbor said. "It’s just terrible at times. It's real loud and rough, and you go by and you can hear guns going off."