Loudon man pleads to sex crimes against boy, 8, gets 18 years

Bob Fowler of the Knoxville News Sentinel       

LOUDON A boy willing to testify in court against the man who sexually molested him when he was 8 years old "went a long way toward bringing about a successful result" in a criminal case, a prosecutor said following a plea-bargain agreement in Loudon County Criminal Court.

Rather than face a trial and that potential testimony, Joseph Leslie Slusher, 29, formerly of Hotchkiss Valley Road in Loudon, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of aggravated sexual battery.

He was sentenced to 18 years in prison. While Slusher received credit for the two years he's already been behind bars, he's classified as a violent sex offender and will be required to serve 85 percent of his prison sentence before he's eligible for parole.

Assistant 9th Judicial District Attorney General Alyson Kennedy said the key to conviction in most child sex abuse cases "is having a victim strong enough to face the person who committed the abuse in an open courtroom," according to a news release.

She credited Lenoir City Police Department Capt. Kevin Condee, who investigated the case, "for his tremendous support and rapport with the victim in this regard."

The crimes occurred between October 2012 and October 2013 while the boy was living in Slusher's home in Lenoir City. The abuse was later disclosed to authorities in Arkansas, where the boy had moved with his mother, according to the news release.

After he's released from prison, Slusher will be placed on the state Sex Offender Registry and be subject to community supervision for life, an enhanced form of probation for violent sex offenders.

"Justice has been served in this case," Kennedy said.

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5/27/16