KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — According to a release from the Knox County District Attorney, a Knoxville man received a 42-year sentence after being convicted of raping a 7-year-old child.
The DA's Office said a jury found James Theodore Menard, 38, guilty-as-charged and convicted him of Rape of a Child, two counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery, and Distribution of Unlawful Material to Minors.
Menard is being held without bond awaiting sentencing on January 9.
Investigators explained during a trial that Menard sexually assaulted his girlfriend's child while they lived at Montgomery Village. The child was seven and eight during the time they were being abused.
The victim told a teacher about the abuse which sparked the investigation.
KPD officers learned the abuse had taken place over several years, but the victim revealed three specific incidents that t resulted in the Rape of a Child and two Aggravated Sexual Battery counts. As a way to groom the victim for the abuse, Menard also showed the victim pornographic materials, resulting in the conviction for Distribution of Unlawful Material to Minors.
“One of the most important roles we have in this Office is to protect children from predators,” said DA Charme Allen. “Children in this community are safer because of this conviction.”
Menard could face up to 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors will seek an enhanced sentence due to the nature of the offense and Menard’s multiple prior convictions out of several states.
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