Hawkins Co. man accused of kidnapping now faces charges of rape, sexual battery

Gary Simpson (Courtesy: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL/WKRN) – A Hawkins County man accused of especially aggravated kidnapping earlier this year now faces additional charges of rape and sexual battery.

According to Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson, Gary Simpson faces two counts of rape of a child and three counts of aggravated sexual battery.

Simpson is accused of checking a young girl out of school on May 4 under false pretenses. An AMBER Alert was issued the following day.

The two were missing for eight days before they were found in a rural part of Hawkins County on May 12.

The child has since been reunited with her family.

News 2 previously identified the child while reporting the AMBER Alert. We will no longer identify the victim as our policy is not to name possible victims of sexual assault.

Simpson is currently being held on a $1 million bond and was scheduled to appear in Hawkins County Criminal Court on Dec. 9.

Judge John Dugger has also issued a gag order in this case.