North Georgia man pleads guilty to sexually abusing 2 children years apart

Credit: File photo

Credit: File photo

Jasper resident gets 20-year prison sentence

A North Georgia man arrested on multiple counts related to sexually abusing two children in 2020 and 2012 pleaded guilty in Cherokee County and was sentenced to 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole, authorities said.

Roy William Ray, 38, of Jasper, was arrested in October on rape charges, among several others, Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit District Attorney Shannon Wallace said in a news release Friday. Ray was accused of rape and child molestation after a girl who was related to him disclosed the abuse to her grandmother, Wallace said.

During the investigation, a second relative told authorities that Ray had raped and molested her in 2012, according to Wallace. Both victims were under the age of 16 when the abuse took place.

The case’s prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Leyna Pope, said Ray’s treatment of the two relatives followed a familiar pattern.

“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,” Pope said.

Ray pleaded guilty in December to four counts of child molestation and one count each of rape, criminal attempt to commit aggravated child molestation and possession of child pornography, according to the DA’s Office. Following his prison term, Ray will remain on probation for life, must follow the special conditions for registered sex offenders and will be prohibited from contact with the victims or their family members.

“This defendant stole the innocence of two innocent children, likely causing long-term psychological harm,” Wallace said. “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.”