Maggie businessman charged with child sex crimes

By DeeAnna Haney | Feb 14, 2014
Steve Hurley speaks at a Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen meeting.

A well-known Maggie Valley businessman was recently charged with 44 felonies involving sexual acts with underage boys.

Steven Hurley, 68, who owns Hurley's Creekside Dining and Rhum Bar, is being held under a $1 million secured bond after being charged with 12 counts statutory sexual offense, 21 counts indecent liberties and 11 counts of crime against nature involving two children under 16.

The charges originated after Hurley's wife, Julie, called police on Wednesday, Feb. 5 around 9:35 p.m. requesting a welfare check on an individual, who is not named in the incident report because of HIPAA laws.

Upon arrival, officers made contact with the person inside the hotel room and gained entry. According to the report, the incident was an attempted suicide and the person was taken to the hospital.

According to a press release from the Maggie Valley Police Department, "Officers in the motel room discovered a note that led them to initiate an investigation into Hurley's possible connection to sexual assaults involving children.

Hurley was arrested and charged at MedWest Haywood on Friday and remains under a $1 million secured bond at the Haywood County Detention Center.

The incidents are alleged to have occurred between July 2006 and December 2007, according to the press release. Hurley is due in court March 5.

He has been an active member of the Maggie Valley community since he and his family moved here from Florida in 2010 and opened the restaurant. He has been active in town politics and even ran for Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen last year.

Hurley often spoke about his large family and their experience as foster parents. During his campaign for alderman, he ran on the platforms of unifying the board, paving the roads in town and increasing tourism to help businesses.

Through the years, Steve and Julie fostered 150 children and adopted six of them — twin girls and four boys. Steve said during a recent interview that he worked alongside two of South Carolina’s past governors, representatives and senators to improve adoption and fostering laws. The Hurleys have received a Rising Star Award from the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and in 2005, South Carolina named them Foster Parents of the Year.