Rogersville man accused of sexually assaulting child at church

Jeff Bobo • Mar 16, 2007 at 12:57 PM

SURGOINSVILLE - Surgoinsville police have charged a 77-year-old Rogersville man with aggravated sexual battery stemming from an incident involving a 10-year-old girl that allegedly occurred at a church on Dec. 31.

Donald Wayne Caldwell, 77, 642 Longs Bend Road, Rogersville, was formally charged with aggravated sexual battery on Tuesday and is currently free on bond.

The arrest warrant filed by Surgoinsville Police Department Officer Reggie Evans states that the 10-year-old female victim and the suspect were among the congregation attending morning services Dec. 31 at Smyrna Baptist Church on Forest View Drive.

The girl told police that during the service she went downstairs to a restroom, and a man was waiting for her when she came out.

"(The victim) states that the unidentified subject assaulted her by pulling her into him and kissing her," Evans stated in the arrest warrant. "(The victim) also states the unidentified subject grabbed her buttocks and breasts before she was able to get away and run back upstairs."

Police identified the alleged assailant as Caldwell and interviewed him on Jan. 30. Evans said Caldwell admitted to grabbing and kissing the child and also "stated that he had thoughts of molesting (the victim) during the offense."

Caldwell also allegedly admitted that the child told him "no" as he was touching her.

In an unrelated case, Phillip Brian Manis, 40, 5788 Route 66-N, Rogersville, was arrested last Friday on an outstanding warrant for sexual battery stemming from an incident alleged to have occurred on Nov. 11. The alleged victim told police that at 1 a.m. that morning Manis, whom she knew, came to her home intoxicated and asked for something to eat. The woman said that as she was preparing food Manis asked for sex, and she replied "no."

The woman alleged that Manis then pushed her down on the couch, touched her, ripped her clothes and bit her breast. She was treated for the bite at Hawkins County Memorial Hospital that same morning.

Manis was arraigned in Hawkins County Sessions Court on Monday.

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