Former Sheriff Henson charged with sexual battery

10:25 am | February 22, 2013

Former Carter County Sheriff John Henson was indicted Thursday on a charge of sexual battery, a Class E felony.

John Henson Mug1

John Henson

A woman told police that Henson, also District 6 constable, forcefully touched her against her will at a Hampton convenience store.

A Carter County grand jury handed down the indictment Thursday.

Current Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said Friday that the woman reported the alleged incident last fall.

She told police that the unwanted sexual contact occurred on Sept. 16 at the BP gas station and convenience store at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19E and U.S. Highway 321 in Hampton.

Mathes said a surveillance video was obtained from the store on the date of the reported incident, and statements were collected from witnesses.

After the indictment was handed down, Henson turned himself in to the Carter County Sheriff’s Department Thursday night and was booked into the jail. He posted a $3,000 bond and was released.

The charge isn’t Henson’s first brush with the law.

Henson, Carter County’s sheriff from 1996 to 2006, was previously convicted of simple assault in June 2009 when a woman said he hugged her inappropriately in a Johnson City laundromat.

He was sentenced by a Washington County judge to six months of probation and a $50 fine.

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