MURPHY, NC.- On Sept. 27, 2022, 43-year-old Benito Morales Mendez, appeared before the Honorable William Coward and entered a plea of guilty to Indecent Liberties with a Child.
Judge Coward sentenced Mendez to serve a minimum of 16 months to a maximum of 29 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections. Mendez was given 728 days of pretrial confinement credit.
Mendez has since been taken into federal custody for pending matters. Mendez is registered as a sex offender and is required to remain registered for a period of 30 years. A permanent no-contact order was entered to prevent contact by Mendez with the child victim in this case.
In January 2020 a complaint was made with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office of an allegation of sexual assault involving a minor child. Pursuant to this allegation, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by HAVEN Child Advocacy Center, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Cherokee County Department of Social Services, Cherokee County Schools, the United States Marshal Service Fugitive Apprehension Task Force, and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations.
“As you can see it takes a team effort and one of the reasons we work so closely with our local and Federal partners. We know that only through cooperative teamwork we are able to bring these cases to a close. Again, we thank the office of District Attorney Ashley Welch for their assistance in this and other cases,” stated Sheriff Derrick Palmer
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please call 828-837-1344 or submit a tip at [email protected].