Timothy Robert Braden, 33, of Briceville was originally charged with aggravated sexual battery.
Braden entered his best interest plea Monday in Anderson County Criminal Court. A best interest plea is not considered an admission of guilt but a defendant's decision to plea rather than face a possible harsher sentence after a trial.
Braden fondled the girl last May in the Shop Rite store in Rocky Top, while her mother was engaged in conversation with another person. Prosecutor Emily Faye Abbott said the touching wasn't accidental but was for the purpose of sexual gratification.
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