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Man sent to prison for sexual abuse of 13-year-old

A 57-year-old local man was sentenced to 65 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to six felony sexual assault crimes against a 13-year-old, District Attorney Greg Newman announced.

Richard Kevin Chambers, formerly of Jackson Loop Road, appeared in Superior Court with his lawyer, Beth Stang, and entered guilty pleas to two counts of Statutory Sex Offense with a Child Under the Age of 15, 2 counts of Crime Against Nature, and two counts of Taking Indecent Liberties with a Child. Assistant District Attorney Doug Mundy presented the facts supporting the charges to Superior Court Judge Julia Lynn Gullett of Iredell County.

Last August a local single mother of three noticed that the defendant showed an unhealthy interest in her 13-year-old daughter.  The defendant had been allowed to stay with the family and had helped watch the children when the mother worked or ran errands. The mother took her daughter to the Children’s Advocacy Center where she disclosed numerous incidents of sexual contact by the defendant. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and began a criminal investigation into the matter.

Allegations made by the juvenile included two incidents where the defendant made sexual penetration with her at the home when the mother was away.  The child did not make an immediate disclosure to her mother, or to anyone else because  Chambers threatened to hurt her family and her if anyone found out about what he was doing to her. The child only reluctantly talked when the mother noticed a change in her behavior and the heightened interest in the girl by the defendant.

Chambers initially denied any wrongdoing in response to questions from deputy sheriffs in the Criminal Investigations Division.  Upon further questioning, however, the defendant confessed to the crimes and was arrested and charged at the conclusion of the interview.  He remained in the custody of the Henderson County Jail until his appearance in Superior Court. He has been transferred to the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction. Judge Gullett consolidated the six charges into the two most serious charges, statutory sex offense, and sentenced the defendant to two prison terms totaling 392 months, or 65 years.  He will be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 46 years.

“The result achieved in this case shows the value in the partnership between law enforcement and our local advocacy center for abused children,” Newman said.  “We are so fortunate that this mother felt comfortable enough to take her daughter to the advocacy center for an interview.  This led to law enforcement intervention, which resulted in a confession from the suspect. 

"Services to support the child and her family moving forward from this appalling experience  are in place and will be important in helping this child feel further supported by our community.  This young lady showed tremendous courage to speak about these abominable crimes to strangers.  She also agreed to testify in court if required to do so.  We are naturally pleased with the outcome of the case and wish only the best for this young lady in the future.  I commend her mother and appreciate her full cooperation with our prosecution of the case."