Former animal shelter supervisor investigated for sexual battery by authority figure

Rain Smith • Nov 12, 2010 at 9:33 AM

The former supervisor of the Sullivan County Animal Shelter, fired by the sheriff's office for a code of conduct violation, is now the focus of a criminal investigation into sexual battery by an authority figure.

A police report says Phil Lane, 45, of 1309 Ridgecrest Ave., Kingsport, is accused of "inappropriate sexual contact with females that were under his supervision." The report was filed shortly before Lane's termination on Tuesday evening, and lists the victims' ages as 23 and 25.

The report does not specify if the alleged victims were providing inmate labor at the animal shelter, 380 Massengill Lane, Blountville, or under Lane's supervision in another capacity. SCSO Public Information Officer, Capt. Keith Elton, declined to comment on how they were affiliated with the facility.

The sheriff's office said it will provide no further information on the case. The police report states a detective has been assigned to investigate.

In a Wednesday press release it was announced that Lane's alleged misconduct is under investigation by the sheriff's office internal affairs division.

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