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GREENEVILLE, TN—Everette Spencer Barnett, 41, of Bristol, Tenn., was sentenced on December 13, 2011, to serve 22 years in federal prison by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge, U.S. District Court, Greeneville. Barnett pleaded guilty on March 31, 2011, to a federal indictment charging him with three counts of the interstate transport of a minor for illegal sexual activity. In addition to 22 years in federal prison, Barnett was sentenced to federal supervised release for the remainder of his life. He has been in custody since November 20, 2009.
Evidence presented at the sentencing hearing established Barnett first engaged his then-12-year-old stepdaughter in sexual intercourse soon after he married her mother and continued for at least five years, often taking the child to North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia for sex. Barnett fathered two children by his stepdaughter before her 17th birthday. The investigation began when the Division of Child Services received an anonymous tip of the suspected abuse. The Sullivan County Tennessee District Attorney General has charged Barnett with 16 counts of child sexual abuse.
The indictment and subsequent conviction of Barnett was the result of investigations conducted by the Bristol, Tennessee Police Department, Sullivan County District Attorney General, and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Helen Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorney, represented the United States.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
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