Kingsport Times-News: Dr. Calendine's practice business as usual a day after arrest on child sex charges

Dr. Calendine's practice business as usual a day after arrest on child sex charges

Jeff Bobo • Aug 22, 2017 at 8:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Rogersville pediatrician Dr. Chris Calendine's medical practice was open and seeing patients Tuesday, a day after Calendine was arrested on charges accusing him of sexual battery against two boys ages 12 and 14.

Calendine, 45, of Rogersville, told the Times-News via text message Tuesday, “The accusations are completely false, and I will take every necessary step to prove that. I have been advised to limit any additional statements for now.”

A receptionist in his office said Tuesday that all office appointments would be kept and Calendine's Promise Medical Group will continue business as usual.

On Monday, the Rogersville pediatrician was named in a two-count Hawkins County grand jury indictment.

He was released from the Hawkins County Jail on Monday afternoon on $50,000 bond.

The Class B felony aggravated sexual battery indictment alleges that on July 23 Calendine engaged in sexual contact with a 12-year-old male and that he acted intentionally and knowingly with regard to the victim's age.

The Class C felony sexual battery by an authority figure indictment alleges that on July 23 Calendine engaged with sexual contact with a 14-year-old boy and acted intentionally and knowingly with regard to the victim's age.

The indictment further alleges at the time of the offense Calendine had custodial authority over the 14-year-old victim and used that authority to accomplish sexual contact.

Calendine opened Promise Medical Group in February at 312 Armstrong St. in Rogersville.

Tennessee Department of Health spokesman Bill Christian told the Times-News on Tuesday there is no state law or rule that prompts automatic action against a health professional's license if he or she is charged with a crime.

"Everyone is entitled to due process," Christian said. "However, our health professional boards have broad discretion within their rules and regulations to impose disciplinary action as deemed appropriate."

Calendine has been a pediatrician in Hawkins County for the past 16 years.

He first came to Rogersville through the Kellogg's Program at East Tennessee State University's Quillen College of Medicine, where he received his doctorate in 1997.

ETSU’s 2016-17 catalog lists him as a clinical assistant professor in pediatrics. An ETSU spokesperson said Tuesday that Calendine’s volunteer faculty appointment expired in June and was not renewed.

Calendine has been active in the community during his time in Rogersville. He is the founder of Rogersville-based ProStrength & Speed free youth fitness program.

He was the Cherokee High School football team’s non-paid physician until a public intoxication arrest this past December, which resulted in him being dismissed and banned from county schools for two years.

In May, the Rogersville City School Board of Education agreed to contract with Calendine for his practice to provide school-based health clinic services for the 2017-18 school year.

He also made headlines in May 2016 when he contributed $10,000 to the reward fund for kidnapped third-grader Carlie Trent, a move that sparked other contributions and resulted in the reward growing to $40,000.

There were multiple messages of support on Calendine's Facebook page Tuesday.

One person wrote, "Praying for you Dr. C. I have been blessed to have you as the Dr. of my children and grandchildren. Praying that God closes this before it goes too far."

Another person thanked Calendine for everything he has done for her daughter and added, "I am blessed to know you, you and your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for everything you have done for this community, especially for all of our children over the years."

But one parent of children who see Calendine told the Times-News on Monday he will be looking for a new pediatrician. The parent, who asked to remain anonymous, said that regardless of the outcome of Calendine's criminal case he will no longer send his children to Calendine's office due to the stigma now attached to Calendine.                                                                   

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