Piney Flats man arrested in child sexual battery case

Published 3:23 pm Monday, March 5, 2018

Police arrested a Piney Flats man early Monday morning in connection with an investigation into a reported sexual battery of a child in 2014.

Deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jerry Michael Culler Jr., 40, of Piney Flats, on an indictment charging him with one count of aggravated sexual battery. Officers also served Culler with an outstanding warrant charging him with domestic assault.

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A Carter County Grand Jury issued the indictment against Culler in May 2014 following an investigation by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office into a report that Culler had engaged in sexual conduct with a child. According to the indictment, Culler “did commit the offense of aggravated sexual battery by knowingly engaging in unlawful sexual contact with” a child under the age of 13. The indictment states the alleged victim was 8 years old at the time the incident reportedly happened.

Under state law, the offense of aggravated sexual battery is categorized as a “Class B” felony, which means if Culler is convicted as charged he could face a sentence of between three years and 30 years in prison.

Deputies also served Culler with an outstanding warrant charging him with domestic assault. Deputies of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office obtained that warrant against Culler as part of an investigation into a report by a woman that Culler assaulted her on August 14, 2017.

The woman alleged that Culler slammed her head against a vehicle and also struck her in the head, according to court documents.

“She also stated that he tackled her to the ground,” said CCSO Deputy Jason Mosier in the affidavit of complaint against Culler. “There were scratches on her back which appeared to  have been from her being tackled to the ground and the back of her head was swollen from being struck by him.”

According to Mosier, Culler fled the scene before officers arrived and while they searched the area deputies weren’t able to find him at that time. The woman was transported to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Culler appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court Monday morning for arraignment on the domestic assault charge. Judge Keith Bowers Jr. appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Culler. Bowers ordered Culler to have no violent contact with the alleged victim and scheduled him to return to court on March 23.

Culler is scheduled to appear in Carter County Criminal Court on March 19 on the aggravated sexual battery charge. He remains held at the Carter County Detention Center under a total bond of $41,000.