City man pleads guilty to 59 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015

An Elizabethton man pleaded guilty on Friday to numerous charges related to child pornography and inappropriate conduct with children and will face a sentencing hearing next month.

James Alan Perry, 55, of Elizabethton, entered a guilty plea to 59 counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, 1 count of sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of statutory rape by an authority figure. As part of his plea agreement with the state, charges of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of indecent exposure with a victim under 13 years of age were dismissed.

No sentencing recommendations were made with the plea agreement. Perry will appear before Judge Lisa Rice on June 26 for a sentencing hearing.

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Perry is not eligible for early release on these convictions and must serve 100 percent of whatever sentence Rice imposes at the sentencing hearing.

Under state law, especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor is classified as a “Class B felony” and each count can carry a sentence of no less than eight years and not more than 30 years in prison. Statutory rape by an authority figure is a “Class C felony” under state law and is punishable by a sentence of no less than three years and no more than 15 years in prison on each count. Under state law, sexual exploitation of a minor is a “Class D felony” and can carry a sentence of not less than 2 years but no more than 12 years in prison for each conviction.

A judge can allow some or all of the sentences to be served at the same time or order they be served back-to-back.

As a result of the convictions, Perry must register as a sex offender with the state.

The charges against Perry stem from an investigation conducted by Elizabethton Police Department Sgt. Christopher Bowers in August 2014.

Police received a complaint alleging Perry showed two 9-year-old female juveniles pornographic materials on his computer, exposed himself to both of them and inappropriately touched one of the young females, Bowers said.

As part of the investigation, a search warrant was executed at Perry’s residence and officers seized Perry’s computer for analysis as well as several camera photo storage cards Perry had kept in a safe, Bowers said.

Evidence obtained in the investigation led to three separate indictments against Perry.