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Defendant gets 29-year sentence after child sex assault plea

A man wanted on charged on multiple child sexual assault charges was sentenced to 29 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the charges last week, District Attorney Greg Newman announced.

Jeffrey C. Wilson, no permanent address, of Hendersonville, pleaded guilty to the crimes of statutory sex offense with a child, indecent liberties with a child, and domestic protective order violation.

Wilson entered these pleas in the Henderson County Superior Court and was sentenced by Judge Peter Knight. He will be eligible for release upon serving a minimum sentence of 20 years. Additionally, Judge Knight ordered that the defendant must be registered as a sex offender for at least 30 years.

The case was investigated by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office in response to a report from a local residence that at least two juveniles had been inappropriately touched by the defendant. Deputies and detectives interviewed members of the household, including at least three children under the age of 10 years old. Through the forensic interviews conducted both by the Sheriff’s Department and the local Childrens’ Advocacy Center, disclosures were made by two female children that the defendant would enter their bedrooms at night. To one child, he digitally penetrated her and told her that he would spank her if she resisted. To the other child, he touched her on top of her vaginal area.

The Sheriff’s Department’s initial attempts to locate the defendant were met with misinformation from the defendant himself. After calling the defendant’s cell phone, the detectives received a voice mail response that he was in Knox County, Tennessee, and that he would contact them to schedule an interview. The call from the defendant to set up an interview never occurred, and it was later learned that the defendant was in Cocke County, Tennessee, not Knox County. When information was later obtained by the Sheriff’s Department that Wilson was in the Asheville area, he was located on Tunnel Road and arrested at an office where he was donating plasma. He was then taken to the Sheriff’s Office and interviewed.

“What helped us in this case is that we had strong corroborative evidence,” Newman said. “First, there was a statement from another child sharing the bedroom with the two victims who described how the defendant would come into the room at night and get on top of the other two children before molesting them. Second, the statement obtained by the detectives directly from the defendant contained numerous admissions of crimes concerning one child. He denied doing anything inappropriate with his own daughter. This was, however, inconsistent with the statement of his minor daughter and the third child in the room."

“I commend the Sheriff’s Department investigators, the Childrens’ Advocacy Center and Assistant District Attorney Robert Brackett for achieving a just outcome in this case,” Newman added. “Our community does a good job in helping children whose lives are tragically impacted by those persons who should be protecting them. While we are satisfied with the prison sentence, we are all aware that the process to help the children heal from these experiences is just beginning for them."