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Dennis James Lavender

A Murphy, N.C., man has been charged with sexually assaulting a child in an investigation launched last year and now is being held on a $500,000 secure bond.

Dennis James Lavender, 43, was charged on grand jury indictments with first-degree sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a minor, according to Cherokee County Sheriff Derrick Palmer.

Palmer said sheriff's office investigators and officials with the Cherokee county Department of Social Services started investigated in March 2015 when they were made aware of allegations "that Lavender had committed sexual assault a of a minor child."

The case was presented to the grand jury in April and Lavender was sought and arrested this week in the Martins Creek community, the sheriff said.
Lavender faces a date in Cherokee County Superior Court Nov. 7.

Palmer said that because of the sensitive nature of the case, the sheriff's office will not release further information on the case.

Sheriff Palmer encourages any one that has information on this crime or any other to report it. To report crime in Cherokee County, call the anonymous tip line at 828-837-1344 or email a tip at crime.tips@cherokeecounty-nc.gov or call 911.

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