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Judge grants diversion on statutory rape counts

An Elizabethton woman who pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated statutory rape was granted judicial diversion Monday, which could clear the conviction from her record.
Christy Hubbard Scott, 36, entered her pleas in June, and a hearing was held in Criminal Court on Monday to set her sentence and to determine whether she was eligible for judicial diversion or alternative sentencing.
Scott was granted judicial diversion by Judge Robert Cupp and given two years probation. If she violates the terms of her probation, Scott could face jail time as well as the revocation of her diversion.
Because Scott was granted diversion, she will not be required to register as a sex offender with the state’s sexual offender registry.
The charges against Scott were the result of an investigation by the Carter County Sheriff’s Department. The indictment against Scott alleged the incidents occurred between June 16, 2013, and Sept. 1, 2013.
In court on Monday, Scott said even though she pled to five counts of aggravated statutory rape as part of her plea agreement, she only had sexual encounters with the victim, a 15-year-old male, on three occasions.
Cupp’s decision came after Scott’s testimony on the offenses, what led to them and how her life has changed since that time.
Scott testified she was close friends with the juvenile’s aunt and that the two families were also very close and socialized together regularly.
She said the juvenile had pursued a relationship with her and initiated all of the sexual encounters.
On the first incident, Scott testified she had consumed 10 to 12 beers and had fallen asleep.
“I woke up with him kissing my neck. I told him no,” she said. “I told him we were going to wake everyone up and to please stop.”
She said the juvenile continued making advances on her and she eventually relented. After the initial encounter, Scott said she felt pressured and threatened by the juvenile to continue their sexual relationship.
Scott testified she confessed the incidents to the victim’s family.
“I took responsibility for my actions,” she said. “I actually told his aunt before he told his mother.”
She said the charges against her have strained her family relationships, adding she has not been allowed to see her oldest daughter from a previous marriage and that she and her husband have been attending marital counseling. She also said she had to leave her college program after the charges were filed.
“Whether I get judicial diversion or not, I have still lost a career, an education and a daughter,” Scott said. “It was a mistake and I’m sorry. I really want a chance to prove that’s not who I am.”
While Assistant District Attorney Dennis Brooks did cross-examine Scott during her testimony, he called no witnesses to testify on behalf of the state at the hearing. However he did ask the court to deny diversion.
“In this case, I think you have an accentuated abuse of trust,” Brooks said. He said Scott held a position of trust because the juvenile’s mother had often left her children in Scott’s care during the time frame when the incidents occurred.
Brooks also argued if the juvenile’s advances were unwanted, Scott should have distanced herself from the juvenile.
Before delivering his ruling on diversion, Cupp offered his thoughts on the case, stating he was inclined to believe Scott’s testimony.
“When a 15-year-old is having intercourse, they are not apt to turn them in – 15-year-olds don’t squeal,” he said, adding it did not “make sense” to him that the juvenile “suddenly decided” to report Scott.
Cupp noted that Scott had no prior criminal record, had maintained employment and was working to obtain a better education.
“I think her lifestyle is enough to balance out the circumstances of this case,” he said.