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Middle school teacher charged with rape of a child in White County

<i>WSMV/White County Sheriff</i><br/>Warrants were issued Friday night for Austin Damon Allen
WSMV/White County Sheriff
Warrants were issued Friday night for Austin Damon Allen

By CARMYN GUTIERREZ

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    SPARTA, Tennessee (WSMV) — A White County Middle School teacher has been arrested and charged with rape of a child, according to District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway.

Warrants were issued Friday night for Austin Damon Allen, 27, after authorities said an investigation revealed he had engaged in sexual acts with a minor. Investigators with the District Attorney’s Office, the White County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Children’s Services began the investigation earlier this week.

The allegations that prompted the investigation led to the suspension of Allen at the school, according to the DA. Now, he has been charged with three counts of rape of a child.

Allen was taken into custody Friday night at the White County Jail where he remains on a $750,000 bond. The investigation remains ongoing, and the DA said more victims are possible.

White County Director of Schools Kurt Dronebarger released the following statement:

“White County Schools is shocked and deeply saddened by the news surrounding a former middle school teacher and our thoughts, prayers, and efforts are with the affected children, their families, and our school community. From the initial report, the teacher was suspended, removed from campus, and subsequently had his employment terminated. The school district is fully cooperating with authorities in their investigation and will work diligently to serve our community to navigate the waters in the wake of this deplorable incident. If anyone has information pertaining to this case, please contact the White County Sheriff’s Department. If you or a child are in need of counseling services, please contact the school system. This chapter is not a reflection of our school district and the incredible employees who lovingly serve students each day, and together, we will rebuild the trust and integrity that was damaged by the acts of one individual. As this is an ongoing investigation, the district has no further comment at this time.”

Kurt Dronebarger, Director of Schools Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the District Attorney General at 931-528-5015 or the White County Sheriff’s Office at 931-836-2700.

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