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Mars Hill man found guilty of child sex offenses sentenced to at least 18 years

By Web staff

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    BUNCOMBE COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — A Mars Hill man will spend at least 18 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of child sex offenses.

The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office says William Darryl Marler, 57, was sentenced on Jan. 6, 2022.

In a news release, District Attorney Todd Williams said evidence showed the crimes happened in Buncombe County when the victim was between 11 and 12 years old.

Williams said, during interviews with detectives, Marler acknowledged he inappropriately touched the victim while applying suntan lotion.

Six years later, at 18 years old, the victim went to a medical appointment and told her doctor about the offense.

“Disclosures the victim made at that appointment led to a DSS report being filed,” Williams said.

Following an investigation, the sheriff’s office says Marler was charged with indecent liberties with a child and first-degree statutory sex offense of a child 13 years old or younger.

The sheriff’s office thanked Detective Jamie Hannah for her work on the case and the District Attorney for prosecuting it.

Williams said expert testimony on delayed reporting regarding victims of trauma was provided by Geoff Sidoli of the Mountain Child Advocacy Center. The case was tried by Assistant District Attorney David Denninger.

“I commend ADA Denninger and the Mountain Child Advocacy Center for offering trauma-informed support to the victim throughout this process,” Williams said in a release. “I commend the jury for their thoughtful deliberation and return of a guilty verdict. The jury’s verdict and the judge’s sentencing determination ensure that Marler will be held accountable for his crimes. I wish the victim peace and healing. I further applaud BCSO’s thorough investigatory work in tandem with partners at the Buncombe County Family Justice Center.”

Anyone who has been a victim of a sex crime is encouraged to contact Buncombe County’s Special Investigations Unit at 828-250-6902 or contact Our Voice at 828-252-0562.

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