Parents of child rape victim arrested for neglect
Staff Reports
The parents of a 4-year-old boy were charged with child abuse or neglect stemming from incidents that took place over the course of three days at a residence in Lenoir City.
Terry Lee Shelton, 36, Lenoir City, was previously arrested on three counts of rape after the child told forensic officials that the man “touched me here” and pointed to his crotch area, according to a Loudon County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.
The boy told officials that Shelton, boyfriend of the child’s grandmother, took his hand and placed it on the man’s penis and motioned what he was instructed to do, according to police. Shelton also had the boy place his mouth on the man’s penis, Loudon County Sheriff’s Inv. Jeff Russell wrote.
Police later arrested the child’s mother, Katelyn Marie Perdue, 24, Lenoir City, and father, Christopher Shawn Hart, 36, Lenoir City, for child abuse or neglect.
“When asked if he had told anyone about this he said he had told his dad that Terry had touched him and his dad (Hart) told Terry not to (do) this again,” Russell wrote in a separate report, noting that the child also told Perdue and the boy’s grandmother.
The grandmother has not been charged, Russell said. He said that although child abuse or neglect falls under the same statute, the parents were arrested for the latter offense.
“It’s more of a neglect area than the abuse but because of the neglect, the incident happened to the child again,” Russell said.
During an interview with police, Shelton admitted to the counts of rape, which took place Dec. 29 and two days in early January, according to the arrest report. During the incident in December, Shelton was in the bed watching a pornographic movie with the boy as his grandmother was asleep, according to police.
Shelton “did place (the boy’s) hand on his penis and had him to masturbate him and also had him perform oral sex on him,” according to the earlier police report. Similar incidents happened Jan. 2 and Jan. 3, according to police.
Police learned about the allegations of rape when an official with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services visited the home in reference to a “drug exposed child,” according to the arrest report.
Hart told police that he “didn’t think it (the incident) was in (a) sexual manner but did tell Terry he would have to leave if he didn’t Quit,” Russell wrote.
Hart and Perdue were charged and each have a bond amount of $20,000. Perdue’s arrest was initially reported in the Jan. 13-14 edition of the News-Herald, but additional information was not available by presstime and a bond amount had not been set at that time.
Shelton’s bond was set at $450,000 bond.