NC woman who drugged 10-year-old girl, sexually assaulted her sentenced to prison

NC woman who drugged 10-year-old girl, sexually assaulted her sentenced to prison
Amy Norris Branch (Catawba County Justice Center)

CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A Maiden woman who sexually assaulted a young girl after drugging her will spend the next four-to-six years in prison after pleading guilty in Superior Court Thursday.

Amy Norris Branch, 38, pleaded guilty to three counts of solicitation to commit a sexual offense with a child. Branch’s sentence will run concurrent with a prison term she is already serving for a 2017 conviction in Davie County. She will also have to register a sex offender for life and will be subject to satellite-based monitoring.

Branch committed the crime in 2010 along with co-defendant Jamie Merritt, who pleaded guilty to the crime last month. He was sentenced to serve between 20 and 25 years in prison.

According to officials, Branch and Merritt used Benadryl to drug the then 10-year-old girl and touched her inappropriately. Merritt came forward to investigators and admitted his activity in 2015. Branch later confessed to her involvement in the crime.

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