The following news release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.
Murphy, NC— During a weather shortened January 2014 Superior Court session, John Joseph Watts, a 69 year old Murphy North Carolina man, entered a guilty plea in connection with 2012 child sexual assault charges. Watts was sentenced by the Honorable Judge Brad Letts, to a term of commitment of 300 – 360 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections and is required to register as a sex offender for life upon release from imprisonment according to Sheriff Keith Lovin.
During the month of January 2012, a resident came to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and reported that she believed her children had been sexually assaulted by Watts. Investigators then teamed with HAVEN Child Advocacy Center and the Cherokee County Department of Social Services in conducting the investigation. During the cooperative investigation it was learned that Watts had sexually assaulted a young child. Further during the investigation Watts made admissions that he had in fact sexually assaulted the young child.
Sheriff Keith Lovin commented “The team concept was invaluable in this type of investigation. Through the use of our office’s protocol of involving HAVEN and DSS at a very early stage in child maltreatment cases, invaluable information was gained that enabled the team of investigators to gather an overwhelming amount of evidence which brought about such a positive resolution to a very sad and serious crime. It is the stance of my office to aggressively pursue those predators who prey on our youth! I would like to commend Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Investigators Chapman, Holland and Captain Williams, as well as HAVEN Child Advocacy Center and the Cherokee County Department of Social Services on a job well done.”
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