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Browning Admits to Five Counts of Rape And Assault

Gary Browning in Court with defense attorney Joel Schechet.

A Haywood County man’s guilty plea this week on rape and sexual-assault charges netted a 47-year-old Haywood County man a likely life sentence.

District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said Gary Browning  admitted to five counts of statutory rape and five counts of statutory sexual assault.

The victim suffered abuse from about age seven and into high school.

Assistant District Attorney Kate Robinette, who prosecuted the case, crafted a plea deal that left sentencing to the judge’s discretion.

Superior Court Judge Marvin Pope listened to testimony from both the victim and a Maggie Valley Police detective. He then handed down his verdict: a total prison sentence for Browning of 105.8 years.

“We are pleased with this tough sentencing decision,” District Attorney Welch said. “We believe Judge Pope matched the severity of the crimes with time behind bars.”

Quinten L. Ellison
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