East Tennessee Father's Bond At $1 Million In Electric Shock, Incest Rape Case

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Claiborne County (WVLT) -- A Claiborne County father is jailed and accused of shocking his daughters with an electric dog-training collar, then repeatedly raping them.

His wife has been charged with doing nothing about it.

The details of this story may be too graphic for many to hear, especially young children.

As you read on, know that we are not identifying the suspects because it, in turn identifies the victims.

Captain Sam Nelson is the lead investigator in this case.

"They just lived basically a shelter life, an abused shelter life," Capt. Nelson said.

And it's one like he's never seen before.

"I don't have words to describe this, I've never seen a case like this," he said.

One he hopes to never see again.

"It’s a sad day when parents do this to their children."

The case report includes descriptions of torture and incestuous rape.

Capt. Nelson describes what one of the teens said Tuesday in court about the torture with shock collars normally used to train dogs.

"You set your voltage, you put this on animals supposedly or whoever, in this case your child and you control the shocking intensity by turning this and hitting this button,” he said. “It sends the voltage to these two prongs right here, in to the body whether its a dog or a human."

The father appeared to have total control.

"These kids lived in such fear of their father, that the repercussions were something they couldn't bear either, so they just did not tell,” said Capt. Nelson.

They didn’t tell anyone until it escalated to an unbearable point.

The closest neighbors live about 300 yards away.

One neighbor told us the kids did not spend much time outside, certainly not like most kids.

Another neighbor said he just doesn't believe it, but Capt. Nelson certainly does believe it.

"I hope and every police officer does and that they get the maximum for what they did, the maximum punishment our law allows,” he said.

The 37 year old father is charged with aggravated child abuse and two counts of rape.

He is in jail on a $1 million bond.

His 35 year old wife is charged with aggravated child neglect and the failure to report abuse.
The 18 year old daughter and the other 3 children are in foster care.

The case goes before the Claiborne County grand jury on December 3rd.


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  • by teresa Location: knoxville on Nov 16, 2007 at 12:31 AM
    i am glad these childern, are safe now, we need to pray for them. i am also glad this man is off the streets, i hope our courts and judges ,will do their job now and keep him off the streets. he doesn,t even deserve to live after what he has done. i think the mother should be punished also, she is supposed to protect her childern
  • by Jeana Location: Maryville on Nov 15, 2007 at 08:26 PM
    This is sickening! Why would a FATHER want to physically and emotional hurt his children in such a demonic way?!!! The mom should have reported it and I hope both of them do serious time for what they did.
  • by Lilly Location: Ga on Nov 15, 2007 at 04:09 PM
    I beleive you...cause theres surely not this many demonish people living in one area.The mother should have reported it.If it was my kids I would even if he had killed me,if she was in her right mind and able to get out the door or use a phone. He deserves to spend the rest of his life alone with their cries and screams taped into his cell day and night. Thank God the girl reported him.
  • by Carol Location: Claiborne County on Nov 14, 2007 at 08:22 PM
    I would just like to let everyone know that child abuse is NOT common in this county. These people have only lived here around 3/4 years. I am just glad that the daughter had enough faith in her school resource officer to tell him/her what was going on. Also, no time was wasted in protecting the children, they were put in a safe location that same day, the mother was arrested that afternoon, the father later that night. The Grand Jury meets on Dec. 3rd, maybe the results of that will help the children some, I sincerely hope so. The children need all of our support and prayers now.

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