Jonesborough man gets 15 years on rape plea, additional charges dismissed

Becky Campbell • Mar 21, 2019 at 8:26 PM

A Jonesborough man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday after a plea hearing that could have netted him up to 60 years behind bars.

Joseph Conley Fink, 50, entered an Alford plea — which means he doesn’t admit guilt but agrees the state had sufficient evidence that a jury could convict him — to one of 14 sex crimes involving three girls who are now adults. Fink was indicted in 2017 on three counts of continuous sexual abuse of a minor, four counts of rape of a child, two counts of rape, two counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and one count of aggravated sexual battery.

Through plea negotiations, Fink’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Debbie Black, worked out an agreement to have all but one rape charge dismissed. Assistant District Attorney General Erin McArdle said the compromise came about after one girl refused to cooperate with prosecutors and another had moved away.

McArdle said the case stemmed from Fink coercing a young teenager acquainted with his family to have sex with him.

“It took until the children were 16 in order for this to come to light,” McArdle said during the hearing, adding that it continued “for several years.”

In addition to the 15-year term, Criminal Court Judge Lisa Rice told  Fink that he will be on the sexual offender registry and community supervision for life. He will be prohibited from being in any place — parks, libraries, schools — where children are likely to be present. 




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