National News

Ex-Fentress County sheriff sentenced in federal case

Posted August 23

— The former sheriff of Fentress County has been sentenced to over two years in prison after pleading guilty to federal charges.

Charles "Chucky" Cravens, 47, was accused of having sex with inmates and committing civil rights violations during his time in office.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of honest services fraud and one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.

On Wednesday, Cravens was sentenced to 33 months in prison, along with two years of supervised release.

"Today, another public official was sentenced to prison for violating their sworn oath to uphold the law," said Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith in a news release. "There are dire consequences when elected officials violate the public's trust and place their own interest above that of their constituents."

Cravens was in charge of operations at the Fentress County Jail in Jamestown, TN.

An inmate claims she had unprotected sex with the sheriff in his office in July 2016.

According to federal investigators, Cravens talked with two female inmates about having sex with them and leaving the jail together. Cravens reportedly drove the inmates to a trailer, which is where they had unprotected sex. Investigators say Cravens maintained relationships with these inmates until they were released in February 2017.

Cravens was also accused of driving a third female inmate outside of the county to visit a relative. The inmate claims she had unprotected sex with Cravens during that trip.

Federal officials say Cravens used his position to deliver "additional benefits" to the inmates he was involved in sexual relationships with, including being allowed outside to smoke and leaving the jail to visit relatives.

Cravens is also accused of kicking a male inmate and putting him in a headlock while he was being handcuffed. The inmate claims Cravens hit him in the back of the head twice while he was handcuffed.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI both assisted in the investigation.

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