A Forsyth County man accused of molesting multiple children in Forsyth, Dawson and Cherokee counties in 2017 pled guilty to multiple charges of child molestation this week and has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
According to court records, Ralston Cecil Dew, 71, appeared in Dawson County Superior Court last week to enter a guilty plea for two counts of child molestation. This week, Dew returned to court in Forsyth and Cherokee counties to face 10 additional counts of child molestation and one count of sexual battery of a minor.
Dew was first arrested in Cherokee County in December 2017 after numerous accusations of child molestation were brought forward to authorities. The incidents allegedly took place at Dew’s home in Cumming, a residence in Cherokee County and at the Riverbend Gun Club in Dawson County, according to a Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
After being released from custody in Cherokee County, Dew was arrested on similar charges in Dawson County in March 2018 and later in Forsyth County in August 2018.
At sentencing hearings held in Cherokee, Dawson and Forsyth counties over the last two weeks, Superior Court judges in each county sentenced Dew to serve prison time and probation.
Dew first appeared in Dawson County Superior Court on Sept. 3 and was sentenced to 10 years of prison and 30 years of probation on two counts of child molestation. Dew next appeared in Cherokee County on Sept. 10 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 20 years of probation on eight counts of child molestation. Dew finally appeared in Forsyth County Superior Court on Sept. 12 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years of probation for two counts of child molestation and one count sexual battery of a minor.
According to Forsyth County Assistant District Attorney Ramsey R. Magaro, sentences from each of the jurisdictions will run concurrently with each other, meaning that Dew will serve one 10-year prison sentence for all of his convictions.
On Thursday, the mother of one of Dew’s victims, who spoke to the Forsyth County News under the condition of anonymity, stated that Dew’s victims and their families are disappointed with how the case was handled and sentenced in Cherokee and Forsyth counties.
"No one is happy with this, but it doesn't matter," she said.
She said that the victims and their families feel that Dew got off lightly, as he will have to only officially spend 10 years in jail for his conviction in Dawson County with no additional prison time for the sentences in Cherokee and Forsyth counties where he faced 10 total counts of child molestation.
Victims even asked judges to add one additional day on top of his 10-year sentence, “to show the girls that they matter and acknowledging what happened to them,” the mother said, but the request was denied.
In a statement made to the FCN on Friday, Magaro said that while it’s unusual for three jurisdictions to hand down synchronized sentences, Dew’s case in Forsyth County “involved the same victim and same time period” as the case in Dawson.
“All of the jurisdictions were aware of each other and took each other into account throughout the process,” Magaro said.