Repeat Child Molester Sent to Prison

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Child Abuse Unit obtained a fourteen-year sentence against a sex offender who molested an eleven-year-old child.  Christopher Layne Spencer, 45, was convicted of two counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery and one count of Violation of the Sex Offender Registry.  In a sentencing hearing today, Judge Kyle Hixson ordered Spencer to serve fourteen years in prison.

In a two-day trial in March, Assistant District Attorneys Ashley McDermott and Jordan Murray explained to the jury that on November 19, 2019, Spencer was visiting the victim’s mother at her home and cooking dinner.  When the mother was in another room, Spencer sexually assaulted the eleven-year-old child.  When Spencer went outside to smoke, the victim told her mother what happened.  The mother confronted Spencer and made him leave.  After this assault, the victim’s mother learned Spencer is a Registered Sex Offender.  Spencer later texted the mother saying it was a misunderstanding and that he only “tickled” the child.  In a subsequent statement to KPD Investigators Phyllis Tonkin and Timothy Thornton, Spencer first denied touching the child at all and then said the victim’s mother was making this up because she was mad.  A forensic interview of the victim was conducted at ChildHelp USA.  After the jury returned a verdict finding Spencer guilty of Aggravated Sexual Battery, the State was allowed to inform the jury that Spencer is a convicted Sex Offender on the Sex Offender Registry.  While in the United States Army, Spencer was convicted of three counts of Sexual Abuse of a fourteen-year-old child at a Court Martial in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in 2014.

“Thanks to the bravery of a child, this Sex Offender will go back to prison where he cannot harm another minor,” said DA Charme Allen.

Aggravated Sexual Battery is a Class B felony that carries a punishment between eight and twelve years in prison without the possibility of parole.  Violation of the Sex Offender Registry is a Class E felony carrying a punishment between one and two years.  At today’s sentencing hearing, prosecutors successfully argued for a sentence at the top of the range and consecutive sentences citing Spencer’s three prior convictions for molesting a child.  Assistant Victim Witness Coordinator Erin Morrison aided in the prosecution of this case.

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or [email protected]. For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at dag.knoxcountytn.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.