2 men sentenced in Great Smoky Mountains National Park rapes

Published 1:06 pm Thursday, December 10, 2020

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KNOXVILLE (AP) — Two men have been sentenced to federal prison in the rapes of young male victims in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to federal prosecutors.
Dusty William Oliver, 41, and Richard Graham, 49, both from Blaine, Tenn., were sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Knoxville on Monday, according to a Department of Justice statement.
Oliver and Graham pleaded guilty to an indictment charging them with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Oliver was sentenced to 25 years in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release and Graham was sentenced to just over 19 years in prison, with 15 years’ supervised release.
Prosecutors alleged that in June 2012 and in November 2015 the defendants raped two different male victims in the national park, which straddles the line between North Carolina and Tennessee. The defendants sought out men who were homeless and addicted to drugs, who they believed were unlikely to report the attacks to law enforcement, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
The men were accused of “quickly befriending” the victims along a roadside in Knoxville before having them hike “unfamiliar trails in pitch darkness” through the park until they were assaulted by Oliver and Graham, the office said.
“The defendants exploited vulnerable victims; however, the victims were brave enough to come forward and report their attacks,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey. “The victims’ cooperation throughout the investigation and prosecution was necessary, and I commend them for seeing it through.”

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