Simon Gallego Cruz


By Dave Russell


The inmate at the Jackson County Detention Center who held the distinction of being behind bars longer than anyone else – since March 6, 2017 – was last month sentenced in Superior Court.

Judge Brad Letts on Dec. 18 sentenced Simon Gallegos Cruz, 36, of Sylva, to not less than 16 nor more than 29 months on charges of felonious restraint and two counts of sexual battery. He was ordered to pay costs and have no contact with victims, have substance abuse treatment, psychiatric and/or psychological counseling, work release with DART and SOAR recommended. On a second felonious restraint charge, he was sentenced to not less than 16 nor more than 29 months.

The sentences are to run consecutively. Cruz was given credit for 1,017 days served and ordered to register as a sex offender.

The charges stemmed from two alleged incident in involving underage females.

In one case, he was accused of unlawfully restraining a female at Smoky Mountain High School and driving her off campus in March 2016.