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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 7, 2020

Pair Sentenced For Two Counts of Rape In The National Park

KNOXVILLE Tenn. – On December 7, 2020, Dusty William Oliver, 41, and Richard Graham, 49, both from Blaine, were sentenced by the Honorable Judge Thomas A. Varlan, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville, for raping two men in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).

Oliver and Graham pleaded guilty to an indictment charging them with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2241(a) and 2. Oliver was sentenced to 300 months in prison, followed by 15 years’ supervised release. Graham was sentenced to 230 months in prison, followed by 15 years’ supervised release. Both Oliver and Graham will be required to register with state sex offender registries and comply with special sex offender conditions during their supervised release.

In June 2012 and again in November 2015, Oliver and Graham raped two different male victims in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The defendants preyed on homeless, drug-addicted, heterosexual males, who they believed were unlikely to report their attacks to law enforcement. After quickly befriending their victims on the roadside in Knoxville, they took the victims to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Each victim was tricked into hiking unfamiliar trails in pitch darkness, whereon they were raped by both defendants at once.

The defendants escaped prosecution for their crimes until a tenacious investigation by special agents with the U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park developed prosecutable cases against them. "The defendants exploited vulnerable victims; however, the victims were brave enough to come forward and report their attacks. The victims’ cooperation throughout the investigation and prosecution was necessary, and I commend them for seeing it through. The hefty sentences should serve as a warning to others that one will pay heavily for committing violent crimes in our national parks," said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey.

"I want to express my thanks to ISB investigators, park rangers, and the Blount County Sheriff’s Office for their perseverance and hard work that led to the conviction and sentencing of these two men responsible for heinous crimes within the park," said Superintendent Cassius Cash. "To ensure that we’ve heard the voices of all victims, investigators continue to welcome any information about additional assaults that may be associated with Graham and Oliver."

The criminal indictment was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Interior National Park Service for the GSMNP.

Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Kolman represented the United States.

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Rachelle Barnes Public Information Officer (865) 545-4167
Updated December 7, 2020