Men accused of raping homeless in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Two men pled guilty to sexually assaulting homeless men in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The first assault was reported in June of 2012. The second assault was reported in November of 2015.
According to a plea agreement filed in United States District Court both Dusty Oliver and Richard Graham admitted to aiding and abetting an aggravated sexual assault in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The punishment could range from five years of supervised release to life in prison.
In the first case, a homeless man said he was walking along Chapman Highway in Knoxville, when a car pulled up. The man said two men riding inside the car asked if he wanted a ride to the races in Bristol. The victim said he was taken to a large parking lot in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, not to Bristol. The victim told police he agreed to go on a hike with the men, when he said he was raped and sexually assaulted.
The victim said that, after the attack, Graham and Oliver drove him to a gas station, where he asked for police to be called.
The second victim said he was walking along Chapman Highway when he was offered a ride on November 3, 2015. He said he accepted a ride to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where he said he was sexually assaulted and raped on Look Rock Trail. After the assault, the victim was driven to the intersection of Route 129 and Kingston Pike and told to get out of the car.
The plea agreement described the second victim as "a self-admitted homeless man addicted to drugs at the time." He explained the two men asked him for a lighter. He said he was offered a ride by the defendant and co-defendant Graham and accepted.
After a couple of stops the group hiked up to Lookout Tower. On the way down the second victim said he was raped and sexually assaulted by the two men. He reported he told them to "stop" and "quit" but did not fight back his attackers out of fear of receiving bodily injury.
The second victim helped to identify the men by providing a description of his attackers. There was also surveillance video of the men when they had stopped at a Shell gas station, according to police.
The men have yet to see a judge who will be able to accept the plea and give the attackers their sentences.