Roy Ray

Roy William Ray

A Jasper man pleaded guilty last month to multiple charges of sexual crimes against two children in Cherokee County, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Roy William Ray, 38, entered a guilty plea Dec. 9 to rape, four counts of child molestation, criminal attempt to commit aggravated child molestation, and computer pornography, District Attorney Shannon Wallace announced Friday. These charges stem from sexual abuse of two children in separate incidents in 2020 and 2012.

According to the district attorney’s office:

In October 2020, Cherokee Sheriff’s Office arrested Ray for rape and other charges after a child disclosed to her grandmother. During the course of the investigation, another relative disclosed that Ray had raped and molested her eight years prior. Both victims were under the age of 16 at the time of the crimes.

The victims participated in separate forensic interviews at the Anna Crawford Children’s Center, where they provided detailed accounts of what Ray had done to them.

“Sexual predators take advantage of vulnerable children, then threaten them into silence. This defendant told the first victim that she would lose her family and home if she ever told anyone about the abuse. She was afraid to tell authorities what this defendant had done to her and, but for the courage of another child coming forward, he would never have been held accountable for his actions,” said Assistant District Attorney Leyna Pope, who prosecuted the case.

At the conclusion of the plea hearing, Cherokee County Chief Judge Ellen McElyea accepted Ray’s negotiated guilty plea then sentenced him to 20 years to serve without the possibility of parole, followed by life on probation. Upon his release from prison, Ray is prohibited from contacting the victims or the victims’ family members and must adhere to sex offender special conditions.

“This defendant stole the innocence of two innocent children, likely causing long-term psychological harm,” Wallace said in a statement. “We are so proud of these young victims for standing up for themselves and helping ensure that this predator is now in a place where he cannot hurt young children.”

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