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Harriman attorney pleaded guilty to statutory rape | News

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Harriman attorney pleaded guilty to statutory rape
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(WBIR) Harriman attorney Kent Lowery Booher, 59, will be on probation for the next three years, but will not serve any jail time after he pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old.

Booher pleaded guilty to statutory rape on Tuesday in a Loudon County courtroom. He was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and he will be on the sex offender registry for a total of 13 years.

In August 2013, he was arrested and a grand jury indicted him on three counts of Statutory Rape, and one charge each of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. The charges stem from a December 2012 incident in which Booher was accused of having sexual contact with a 14 year old.

Attorney Anne Short with The Bosch Law Firm is not affiliated with Booher's case. She explained not all sex offenders are forced to remain on the Sex Offender Registry for life.

"The registry classifies defendants three different ways. You're classified as a sexual offender, a violent sexual offender, or a violent juvenile sexual offender," Short said.

Short said typically people who are classified as a "violent sex offender" must remain on the Sex Offender Registry for life. Booher is classified as a "sexual offender" and therefore is eligible to have his name removed from the Sex Offender Registry 10 years after his sentence, which is three years of supervised probation.

"Once that person completes his prison term or their probation term, in Mr. Booher's case, which will be three years, you have to be on the registry for that period anyway. Then once you have completed that, 10 years down the road you are allowed to petition to come off of the registry. So that's how we get 13 years for Mr. Booher," Short said.

Short said if the request is denied, the sex offender must wait five years before he or she can petition again to have their name taken off of the list.

In Booher's case, he will have to wait until 2027 before he can make his first petition to be removed from the Sex Offender Registry.

Booher's attorney, Brian Nichols, said on the phone, "It's been a long, hard process and we're glad to have put this to bed. We're just glad Mr. Booher isn't going to jail."

The same grand jury indicted Malina Nanette Akin saying she, "unlawfully did knowingly promote, employ, use, assist, or permit a minor to participate in the production of material included the minor engaging in sexual activity or simulated sexual activity that is patently offensive".

Akin was charged with Especially Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and went to trial in September 2014, however a mistrial was ordered based on the jury not being able to reach a verdict. Akin is expected to be retried.


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