Authorities in DeKalb County arrested a 21-year-old for having an ongoing sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. The girl's parents were also arrested because they knowingly approved of the relationship, allowed the two to live together and on several occasions, provided the teen with condoms, according to the arrest report.
Investigators said Stephen Rogers lived with the victim for four months. He was arrested on May 17 and charged with statutory rape.
The girl's parents, Bryan and Donna Smith, were arrested the same day on child neglect charges.
When Nashville's News 2 knocked on the door of the Smith's residence, Donna Smith answered and said, “I'm not saying nothing about what's going on, it's none of anybody's business but theirs so no comment.”
Other residents in the neighborhood were surprised to hear about the unusual arrangement at the Smith household.
“[The 15 year old girl has] manners, very respectful, very well behaved,” Angela Moore told Nashville's News 2, adding, “They've done an excellent job. You can't help who you fall in love with. There are worse things in this county that need to be looked into. I'm not saying that its right for a kid to date an adult but in their situation, there's a fine line between right and wrong, and I think that they're fine.”
Tabitha Palk wasn't as accepting.
“I can't believe that a parent would let their child do something like that and actually condone it and then physically go out and say, ‘Here, for four months, have what you want in the bedroom and let me just make sure it's protected,'” she said.
Police declined to comment because the case involves a minor.
The investigation is ongoing.
Rogers and the Smiths are scheduled to appear in court on June 21.