BLOUNTVILLE — A former Sullivan County Animal Shelter Supervisor — who also serves as pastor of a Gate City church — has been denied pretrial diversion on charges of sexual contact with female jail inmates.
Phillip Howard Lane, 46, 1309 Ridgecrest Ave., Kingsport, was denied pretrial diversion on three counts each of sexual contact with Sullivan County jail inmates and official misconduct in Sullivan County Criminal Court on Thursday morning. The charges allege Lane had sexual contact with a woman who was under court orders to work at the animal shelter. The three offenses are alleged to have occurred between June 2009 and July 2009.
In November of last year the Sheriff's Office terminated Lane following an internal investigation into a code of conduct violation. Court records state Lane has also served as pastor of Roadside Baptist Mission Church in Gate City, Va., since Nov. 28, 2004.