Johnson City Press: Washington County man arrested on multiple charges related to sexual abuse of juveniles
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Washington County man arrested on multiple charges related to sexual abuse of juveniles

Becky Campbell • Updated Nov 17, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Updated at 6:08 p.m.:

Washington County prosecutors used a relatively new law to indict a Gray man on multiple charges related to child rape with several alleged victims.

Joseph Conley Fink, 47, 411 Boone Station Road, was taken into custody by Washington County sheriff’s officers on a warrant alleging three counts of continued 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.

The 14-count indictment involves three different female juvenile victims, according to Assistant District Attorney General Erin McArdle. The statute for continuous sexual abuse of a child, which took effect July 2014, allowed prosecutors to charge Fink without having to pinpoint exact dates for the offenses. It allows the charge when there were allegations of five or more instances of sexual child abuse involving two or more minor children over a 90-day period or more, or allegations of three or more instances of sexual abuse of one child over a 90-day period or more.

The statute allows individual offenses to merge into a single continuing offense that involves a pattern of criminal activity against a victim, according to the indictment.

The document dates the alleged crimes back to June 2008 through August 2015.

McArdle said the allegations surfaced after one of the victims told an adult and that information was reported to the Department of Children’s Services. The report spurred a DCS investigation as well as a simultaneous criminal investigation, McArdle said.

She said Conley “groomed” the victims by buying them gifts, then threatening to take those away if they told anyone about the sexual abuse, which he apparently called a “relationship.”

“These girls would come to his house. … He would start relationships with them,” McArdle said. The victims, now in their upper teens, reported the abuse began when they were in the fourth grade.

Fink was being held at the Washington County Detention Center on $100,000 bond and is scheduled for arraignment in Criminal Court on Jan. 27 at 9 a.m.

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A Gray man was arrested Thursday after a Washington County grand jury indicted him earlier this month on multiple charges related to child rape involving multiple victims.

Joseph Conley Fink, 47, 411 Boone Station Road, was taken into custody by Washington County sheriff’s officers on the warrant that alleges continued sexual abuse of a minor, rape, statutory rape and aggravated sexual battery.

The sheriff’s office conducted a lengthy investigation into the alleged abuse between Fink and multiple juvenile victims, according to a sheriff’s office press release. The Deparatment of Children’s Services was also involved in the investigaiton.

Fink was being held at the Washington County Detention Center on $100,000 bond and is scheduled for arraignment in Criminal Court on Jan. 27 at 9 a.m.

Check back at JohnsonCityPress.com for more details as they become available.

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