DA: Man sentenced for child sex abuse after school informs officials

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 12:32 PM EDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - A man in Jackson County has been charged with child sex abuse crimes after the child informed her teachers, District Attorney Ashley Welch.

Welch said jurors convicted Johnathon Micah Maney, 40, of statutory rape of a child under the age of 13 by an adult, two counts of statutory sex offense of a child under the age of 13 and four counts of indecent liberties with a child.

The sexual abuse started in August of 2014 when the child was nine years old, according to the district attorney.

At age 14, “She felt comfortable enough to go to her teachers and tell them that she was suffering from anxiety and panic attacks from the abuse,” Assistant District Attorney Chris Matheson said. “They were her safe outlet.”

The key to cracking the case and stopping the abuse, according to District Ashley Hornsby Welch, can be credited to Cherokee school teachers. After the child confided in them, they contacted law-enforcement officers.

“This young girl trusted them with the information about three horrific years of abuse,” Welch said. “I cannot express strongly enough how important a role educators are playing in our children’s lives. Sometimes, it is lifesaving.”

The district attorney said Maney was sentenced to serve a total minimum of 51.3 years to a total maximum of 72.41 years in the Division of Adult Corrections.

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