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Three convicted this week on child sex offenses in Cherokee County, N.C.

53-year-old William Kraig Moran of Murphy (left), 41-year-old Robert Andrew Defore of Andrews (center), and 42-year-old Timothy Russell Rung of Murphy (right) will all spend a significant time in jail for their offenses. (Images: Cherokee Co. Sheriff's Office / MGN)

The Cherokee County Sheriff Department says three men were sentenced in three separate cases involving sexual offenses against children on Monday.

53-year-old William Kraig Moran of Murphy (left), 41-year-old Robert Andrew Defore of Andrews (center), and 42-year-old Timothy Russell Rung of Murphy (right) will all spend a significant time in jail for their offenses.

William Kraig Moran

Moran pleaded guilty to statutory rape in Cherokee County Superior Court on Monday.

In July 2017, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s received a complaint alleging that Moran had sexually assault a minor child. Sheriff Derrick Palmer says the joint investigation was conducted involving the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Cherokee County Department of Social Services, HAVEN Child Advocacy Center, and the 30th, District Attorney’s Office. The joint investigation ended with the arrest of Moran.

Judge Gary Gavenus sentenced Moran to a maximum of 21 years and 8 months in prison, and he will serve at least 13 years and 10 months before he is eligible for release. Upon his release from prison Moran will be monitored by a GPS satellite tracking system and he will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

Robert Andrew Defore

Defore pleaded guilty to first degree forcible sexual offense in Cherokee County Superior Court on Monday.

In August 2015, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office received a request from the Andrews Police Department to assist in a sexual assault investigation involving Defore and a minor child. Sheriff Palmer says a joint investigation was conducted which concluded with the arrest of Defore.

Judge Gavenus sentenced Defore to a maximum of 29 years in prison, and he will serve at least 20 years before he is eligible for release. Upon his release from prison Defore will be monitored by a satellite GPS tracking system, he will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life, and he is prohibited from ever having contact with the victim.

Sheriff Palmer said, “Great team work by some very dedicated individuals. We echo District Attorney Welch’s sentiments and will continue to fight those who attempt to rob our youth of their innocence.”

Timothy Russell Rung

Rung pleaded guilty to statutory sexual offense in Cherokee County Superior Court on Monday.

In November 2015 the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint that Timothy Rung had committed a sexual assault on a minor. An investigation was conducted by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office which involved the Cherokee County Department of Social Services, HAVEN Child advocacy Center, and the 30th. Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Judge Gavenus sentenced Rung to a maximum of 29 years in prison, and he will serve at least 20 years before he is eligible for release. Upon his release from prison Rung will be monitored by a satellite GPS tracking system, he will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life, and he is prohibited from ever having contact with the victim.

“These convictions keep very dangerous child predators off the streets while they serve lengthy prison sentences, and sends a strong message to the community that the District Attorney’s Office places the highest priority on protecting our children. I commend all of the dedicated professionals who partner with the District Attorney’s Office to give a strong voice to our most vulnerable victims. Congratulations on a job well done”, said District Attorney Ashley Welch.

Sheriff Palmer encourages any one that has information on this crime or any other to report it. To report crime in Cherokee County you can call the anonymous tip line at 828-837-1344 or email a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov or call 911 if you observe a crime in progress.

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