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Former Mount Carmel alderman charged with indecent exposure

WES BUNCH and JEFF BOBO • Feb 20, 2013 at 8:45 AM

KINGSPORT — A former Mount Carmel alderman and vice mayor who was investigated on indecent exposure allegations while in office more than two years ago has been arrested by Kingsport police after a new complaint was filed.

William Lee Blakely, 30, 1031 Allison Rd., Piney Flats, is charged with one count of indecent exposure as a result of allegations made by a female motorist who claimed that he “fondled himself” and made obscene gestures while they drove beside each other on Interstate 26.

Blakely was elected Mount Carmel alderman in 2008, and was later appointed vice mayor in 2010. Blakely resigned from the Mount Carmel BMA in June of 2011 after moving to Piney Flats.

In 2010 a female motorist made an indecent exposure complaint against Blakely to Church Hill police about an alleged incident that occurred while they were driving beside each other.

According to a Kingsport Police Department report filed by Detective Terry Christian, the new alleged victim stated that around 3 p.m. Friday she was driving eastbound on I-26 between Exit 1 and Exit 10. She said a man, whom she later identified as Blakely, was driving alongside her when he began swerving and honking his horn in an attempt to gain her attention.

“She stated he was making obscene gestures toward her trying to get her to lift her shirt up,” Christian stated in his report. “She advised that the male appeared to be fondling himself. She said the male was looking directly at her and smiling as he drove. The male was positively identified from a photo lineup shown to the victim.”

Kingsport police requested that Blakely’s photo and vehicle tag number be withheld from press reports. Police said it’s not known if this was an isolated incident, and if there are more victims authorities don’t want media exposure to taint a potential lineup identification.

“These types of incidents often go unreported due to the embarrassment caused by the offender to the victim,” Christian said. “They use fear and intimidation and often there is not enough information in order to prosecute these type of crimes.”

CHPD Chief Mark Johnson confirmed Wednesday that in 2010 Blakely was the subject of a similar indecent exposure investigation there until the alleged victim declined to move forward with the prosecution to avoid embarrassment.

Mount Carmel Police Chief Mike Campbell also confirmed Wednesday that Blakely was the subject of at least two indecent exposure investigations in Mount Carmel around 2010.

Campbell said the evidence in both cases was presented to the Hawkins County Attorney General’s Office. Assistant Attorney General Alex Pearson told the Times-News Wednesday evening he recalled the investigation, but he couldn’t remember who was prosecutor in the case or why the case wasn’t prosecuted.

Anyone with more information about the most recent incident, or similar incidents, is asked to contact the KPD’s Criminal Investigations Division at (423) 229-9429.

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