The girl told her mother she had been assaulted by Brentley Jason Breyers, the man she refers to as “father,” according to police.
The woman told authorities she had left her four children with Mr Bryers on Friday morning while she went to work. A family member picked up two of the children Friday night, leaving the two others alone with the 28-year-old man. Authorities believe the alleged assault happened that night.
Authorities say the girl suffered “extensive injuries” from the alleged assault. She was taken to a children's hospital about an hour away, where it is likely she will require surgery.
Evidence obtained at the home – including clothing found in the washing machine – was “consistent with a sexual assault,” authorities say. They believe the the clothing in the washing machine was an attempt to dispose of evidence.
Mr Bryers was arrested and charged with statutory rape, with bail set at $1m. It was not immediately clear whether he had entered a plea.
Statutory rape of a child by an adult is a felony offence in North Carolina, and carries a minimum sentence of 25 years.
This is at least the third case of statutory rape reported in North Carolina in the last two months. Last weekend, a 20-year-old North Carolina woman was arrested for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old boy, who authorities say she met at the bar where she worked.
In June, a 25-year-old maths teacher was arrested for allegedly having inappropriate sexual contact with three students.
The Iredell County Sheriff's Office could not be reached for comment.