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Former Sullivan Central AD gets probation in statutory rape case

Rain Smith • Feb 28, 2013 at 4:55 AM

This time last year Brandon Krantz was serving as athletic director and head baseball coach at Sullivan Central High School.

On Thursday afternoon he walked from a Blountville courtroom wiping tears from his eyes, having been sentenced to four years of supervised probation for aggravated statutory rape. He'll now have to register as a sex offender due to the incidents, which occurred twice during 2012 with a 17-year-old student.

She was also a family friend. Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney William Harper said Krantz, 37, had known the girl since she was approximately 5 years old

"They're very upset about what happened to their daughter," Harper said of the family's response. "They would have liked to had sentencing far further than we could seek or the judge could impose. This was not only a teacher, but a family friend."

On Nov. 1, Krantz, of 1717 Ridgeway Drive, Kingsport, entered no contest pleas to two counts of aggravated statutory rape. Three months prior, he resigned from his duties at Sullivan Central, when a Kingsport police investigation into his relationship with the girl was three weeks old.

On Thursday, Judge Robert Montgomery cited several factors in the suspended sentence. Krantz has no prior criminal record, while a psychological evaluation concluded he was low-risk to offend again.

Montgomery also noted numerous letters he'd received from the general public and school administrators, supporting Krantz and vouching for his character. An area police officer was also subpoenaed to testify on Krantz' behalf, but was not called to do so.

Moments before sentencing Krantz and his attorney, Rick Spivey, withdrew a request for judicial diversion. If granted, it would have allowed the charges to be expunged if Krantz maintained a clean record.

Conditions of Krantz' sentence state he is prohibited from any employment that would place him in supervision of or in contact with minors. Interaction with his own children is not regulated, though an adult other than his wife must supervise interactions with other juvenile relatives.

Kingsport police began investigating the case July 9. Investigators say the victim, who was 17 at the time, had slipped out of her sister's Kingsport residence the night before and gone to Krantz' home. The family reportedly suspected she may be at his home, but were not aware the two had an intimate relationship.Harper previously advised the court that the victim gave a statement admitting to a sexual relationship with Krantz. One encounter occurred in January 2012 and the other on July 8, the day before she was interviewed by police.

KPD Lt. Bob Abernathy says no additional allegations against Krantz have been made by other individuals. Sullivan County Director of Schools Jubal Yennie previously told the Times-News that Krantz was a 12-year employee of the school system.

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