East Tenn. man accused of paying to fulfill child rape ‘fantasy’

Arrest Jail Generic
(Graphic: WKRN)

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Sevierville man faces charges after court documents say he tried to solicit a 9-year-old girl to fulfill a “sexual fantasy.”

On May 18, Knoxville police conducting an online undercover investigation received a phone call from a man saying he was looking for a child between the ages of 8 and 12 to fulfill a sexual fantasy and that he would pay money to have the desire fulfilled.

The officer said she had a 9-year-old niece and was willing to let the caller meet with her in exchange for money. Officers were able to determine the caller was Michael Anthony Carpenter, 28. Police say they had previously met and interviewed him while assisting the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office with executing a search warrant at his home a few months earlier.

The documents say the undercover officer and Carpenter made arrangements to meet up at his workplace, Gorilla Fireworks, so he could have relations with the girl in exchange for $400. When that didn’t work out, he changed the meeting place to a gas station across the street.

The officer met up with Carpenter at the gas station and he was subsequently arrested. Court records say Carpenter admitted to officers he had made arrangements to meet and have sex with a girl under 18.

The court documents also allege Carpenter was using Dropbox and the social networking app Kik to distribute child pornography, which police say he also admitted to them.