Former Fentress County Sheriff sentenced after admitting to sex with inmates

Charles Cravens, former Fentress County Sheriff (Courtesy: WATE)

JAMESTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — Former Fentress County Sheriff Charles “Chucky” Cravens, 47, was sentenced to 33 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release.

Cravens was charged on April 20 with three counts of honest services fraud and one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.

On the same day, he pleaded guilty to all charges and announced his resignation as sheriff.

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“Today, another public official was sentenced to prison for violating their sworn oath to uphold the law,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jack Smith.  “There are dire consequences when elected officials violate the public’s trust and place their own interest above that of their constituents.”

According to court documents, Cravens admitted using his position as Sheriff to give women inmates extra benefits in exchange for sex between July 2016 and February 2017.

These extra benefits included being personally transported by Cravens from the jail to visit relatives and allowing these inmates to go outside the jail to smoke cigarettes. Cravens also provided money to relatives of the inmates for deposit into their jail commissary accounts.

Court documents also describe incidents where Cravens drove female inmates from the jail to have sex in a vacant trailer and in his vehicle. The former sheriff was also charged with kicking an inmate in the backside and putting him in a headlock while another officer handcuffed him, and then hitting the inmate in the back of the head, after he was handcuffed.