Youth training leader charged with sexual abuse

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Police in Chattanooga have charged a youth military training official with aggravated sexual battery.

Thomas C. McConnell, who is chief of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program in Hamilton County schools was arrested and charged with fondling a 5-year-old girl at a restaurant on Sunday, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A police arrest report stated a customer used a smart phone to record video of the child pushing McConnell's hand away from her several times and noted a waitress notified her manager about it.

McConnell, who is 65, told police he was "unconsciously" touching the girl and didn't think he'd done anything inappropriate.

McConnell did not return a phone message left by the newspaper. He has been suspended by the school system during the investigation.

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