Tennessee law contains four different types of statutory rape charges. According to news reports, a 62-year-old Memphis man is facing the most serious of the four: statutory rape by an authority figure.
The Frayser man is accused of raping a teenager. WREG-TV reports that the teen told police the man has been performing non-consensual sex acts on him for a year.
Channel 3 said several of the suspect’s neighbors do not believe the allegations. “I think he was a gentleman,” said one neighbor.
According to the station’s report, the teen told police that the sexual incidents began after the suspect introduced him to marijuana when he was 12 years old. The suspect allegedly threatened to kill the teen’s mother if he ever reported the sexual encounters.
Statutory rape by an authority figure is punishable by a minimum of three years and up to 15 years in a Tennessee state prison, as well as fines and mandatory sex offender registration for life.
According to Tennessee law, the alleged victim in a case of statutory rape by an authority figure must be 13 to under 18 years old at the time of the incident. The suspect has to have been at least four years older than the alleged victim.
In addition, the defendant must have been in a position of trust or had supervisory or disciplinary authority over the alleged victim – and then used the trust or power to accomplish the sexual acts.
Those facing these types of allegations should contact a Memphis attorney experienced in sex crimes defense before talking to investigators or prosecutors.