Life sentence for Holly Springs man following conviction on multiple sexual abuse charges

Bryan Lamar Gay (Cherokee County Sheriffs Office)

A Holly Springs man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being found guilty of multiple charges of sexual abuse. 

Bryan Lamar Gay, 52, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday by Chief Superior Court Judge Ellen McElyea after being convicted by a Cherokee County jury on May 16. 

The jury convicted Gay of two counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of aggravated child molestation, and three counts of child molestation. The allegations came to light on January 25, 2023, when a middle school student disclosed the abuse to her mother, who then contacted Holly Springs Police. The child and her younger sibling underwent forensic interviews, and further investigations included interviews with other family members. 

Testimonies from ten witnesses, including law enforcement officers, a child sexual abuse expert, a sexual assault nurse examiner, family members, and the victim, were presented during the trial. The defendant also testified. 

Assistant District Attorney Alana J. Driscoll, who prosecuted the case, highlighted the defendant’s long history of manipulating and abusing the family. "This defendant subjected a family to decades of grooming and sexual abuse of young children. One of these children, now an adult, said she would have taken this secret to the grave, had the victim in this case not come forward," Driscoll stated. 

During the sentencing, the court heard emotional testimony from three victims. The child’s mother described her shattered trust, while the child victim expressed feelings of betrayal and disgust. Judge McElyea sentenced Gay to life in prison, mandated him to register as a sex offender, and prohibited any contact with the victims. 

District Attorney Susan K. Treadaway praised the jury’s decision. "During the trial, this defendant testified for hours, deflecting his actions, blaming others, and trying to manipulate the jury. Fortunately, the jury saw through his lies and, instead, believed the heart-wrenching, vulnerable testimony of an innocent child who this man sexually abused. Our hope is that this sentence brings peace and healing to all those this defendant has harmed, as well as ensuring that he cannot hurt another child ever again." 

The case was investigated by the Holly Springs Police Department with assistance from the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Alana J. Driscoll of the Special Victims Unit, Office of the District Attorney, Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit.