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Former volunteer police chaplain expected to enter plea in rape cases

Becky Campbell • Feb 1, 2020 at 12:50 AM

A one-time volunteer police chaplain charged with dozens of counts of rape as well as solicitation to first-degree murder is expected to enter a plea on some charges related to the case in May.

Anthony Dale Padgett, 52, of Jonesborough was scheduled Thursday for a plea deadline in his case. During other court hearings, his attorney, Jonathan Minga, and Assistant District Attorney General Erin McArdle worked on the case, filled out documents and appeared to have reached some type of plea deal.

But as the day wore on and other cases were called up, it became apparent nothing was going to transpire in the case Thursday. Finally, around 6 p.m., McArdle announced there would be a plea at a later date. Criminal Court Judge Lisa Rice reviewed the documents, but no one announced any details of the agreement.

Padgett stands accused of violating an order of protection filed by the woman who said he raped her more than 100 times over a two-year period. After that order was filed in December 2018, Padgett was charged with statutory rape by an authority figure and solicitation to commit statutory rape.

Padgett was out on bond on those charges when he was again arrested and charged with violating the order of protection after police said he contacted the woman in January 2019 through a social media photography app.

At a hearing to answer the violation charge, he was served with a warrant accusing him of solicitation to commit first-degree murder. The warrant claimed he tried to hire someone to kill his accuser and her boyfriend. At that hearing, Padgett’s bond was increased to $250,000.

In his latest charges, Padgett was accused of 19 additional counts of incest, 12 counts of statutory rape by an authority figure and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

He remains jailed on $450,000 bond.

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