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Tennessee Sheriff Had Sex with Inmates
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Sheriff Cravens

Summary: A Tennessee sheriff is now behind bars after confessing to inappropriate acts with inmates.

A Tennessee sheriff admitted to having sex with inmates on multiple occasions, including a threesome. The sheriff pleaded guilty in April to the charges against him of abusing his position. He has been sentenced to three years behind bars.


Sheriff Charles Cravens of Fentress County had been accused of summoning a jailed female inmate to his office for sex. The 47-year-old apparently also drove two female inmates to a trailer where he could have sex with them.

Cravens was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger, begging for leniency for his actions. He took full responsibility for what he had done, stating, “I do take responsibility for my actions. What I done, I done it myself.”

His attorney, Alex Little, agreed that Cravens understood he had done something bad but was not a bad person. Little told Judge Trauger, “The person standing before you is not an evil person. He made a mistake.”

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Trauger handed down a sentence of three years in federal prison for the three counts of honest services wire fraud and a count of deprivation of rights. After he serves his prison time, he will have two years of supervised release.

Cravens was supposed to be supervising a 150-person jail when he abused his power. The Tennessean outlined Cravens actions from court papers. He started by having the threesome with two inmates and then kept the sexual relationship going with the two women until they were released from jail. He also had sex with a third inmate inside his car. He used his position as a senior member of the jail staff to provide special favors to inmates in exchange for sex. This included personally taking the inmates on trips to see their relatives.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katy Risinger described Cravens as the most influential man in the county that used his power to coerce women into having sex with him. She said, “The women here could not consent, not in any meaningful way. They are reliant on defendant for their safety, their food, their clothing. … Their well-being.”

Some of the perks the inmates got for having sex with him were smoking cigarettes outside and giving money to the inmates family so they could deposit it into the inmate’s jail account as cash. Other inmates at the jail did not get the privilege to smoke cigarettes. Cravens would also buy the women food if they had sex with him. The judge called these acts “horrendous.”

Two of the women have filed civil lawsuits against Cravens and the county. They are seeking an unspecified amount in damages. He was the top law enforcement officer in Fentress County, a rural county north of Crossville. He resigned in April during the FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Probe.

Cravens was also involved in the beating of a male inmate. He is alleged to have kicked an inmate and put him in a headlock while another correctional officer handcuffed the inmate.

Do you think three years is an adequate sentence? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about other sheriffs that are in trouble, read these articles:




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