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Tennessee Sheriff Pleads Guilty to Sexual Misconduct, Excessive Force Charges

A Tennessee sheriff has admitted to using his authority to have sex with jail prisoners on several occasions and using excessive force on another prisoner. Fentress County Sheriff Charles Scott “Chucky” Cravens, 47, pleaded guilty on April 20, 2017 to three counts of honest services fraud and one count of deprivation of rights under color of law after confessing to having unprotected sex, including a threesome, with female prisoners at the Fentress County Jail in exchange for special treatment and favors. The sheriff additionally confessed to kicking a male prisoner, placing him in a headlock and hitting him twice on the back of the head after he was handcuffed.

In light of the criminal charges, Cravens resigned from his position as sheriff six days before he entered his guilty plea. Chief Deputy Gary Ledbetter took charge of the sheriff’s department and issued a joint statement with Fentress County Executive Michael Cross and other county officials, stating, “We are disappointed and shocked by Cravens’ past actions and his admissions. Our focus remains on the day-to-day operations at the sheriff’s office and the Justice Center.”

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn added, “The citizens of Fentress County, and all of Tennessee, deserve elected officials who work in the public’s best interest, especially from those officials who are sworn to uphold the law.”

Cravens’ sentencing is scheduled for August 23, 2017. He faces up to 61 years in prison. 



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