Knoxville postal worker charged with statutory rape while inside post office
A 71-year-old Knoxville postal worker was charged with statutory rape Thursday after an ongoing investigation into his relationship with a then 16-year-old teen, documents say.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A 71-year-old Knoxville postal worker was charged with statutory rape Thursday after an ongoing investigation into his relationship with a then 16-year-old teen. That worker allegedly assaulted and had sex with a minor at the post office on Weisgarber Road.
The investigation, according to court documents obtained by WVLT News, began when John Dusty Best, the postal worker, and an unidentified minor were involved in a car crash on E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in October of 2021. When Maryville Police Department officers arrived on the scene, they claimed that Best and the victim, who had been driving the car, were acting strange.
Best reportedly told officers that the victim was his godson and was telling the victim how to respond to officer questions when they stepped away. After speaking with the two briefly, the MPD officers separated the two and had the victim call his parents. Not long after, the documents said, the minor’s father called back and confirmed that Best was not his son’s godfather and he did not know that the two were together.
Throughout the course of the investigation, the victim reportedly confirmed that Best and he were in a sexual relationship. Allegedly, during the five months it lasted, Best had bought the victim gifts, including a “secret phone” he was having the victim use to speak to him.
“[The victim] told the officer that BEST offered to let him drive his vehicles in exchange for ‘spending time with’ BEST, that BEST tipped him very well for the odd jobs he did at BEST’s home, and that BEST bought [the victim] a smart phone, jewelry and promised to buy him a Miata car,” the documents said. “On the night of the accident, BEST had played with [the victim]’s penis.”
During the investigation, the victim was interviewed and examined by medical professionals, who confirmed the likelihood of the assault, the documents said. The victim also reportedly described Best’s penis, saying it had a mole.
Additionally, FBI investigators, Unites States Postal Investigation Service officials and the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General gathered security footage of the facility. In that footage, the documents said, investigators saw Best with the victim inside the post office.
Last week, officials in the East Tennessee district United States District Court issued a warrant for Best. Law enforcement then reportedly called Best to tell him, and he said he was not home but would return shortly.
“Further, BEST turned off his cell phone and was not responding to law enforcement. Eventually, BEST was located and pulled over by law enforcement in another county,” the documents said.
Officers then followed Best home and confirmed the victim’s description of him, taking him into custody Friday after an initial appearance.
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