ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County man with AIDS who is accused of sexually assaulting a mentally challenged woman this past weekend was arraigned Wednesday and ordered held in jail on $250,000 bond.
Kenneth Dale White, 46, 137 Peavler Lane, Rogersville, was formally charged Tuesday with aggravated sexual battery, aggravated burglary and criminal exposure to AIDS in connection with a break-in at a residence near his home Sunday evening.
According to reports, White allegedly kicked in the back door of the residence, which was occupied by a 53-year-old woman whose husband was at work. White allegedly barricaded himself and the woman inside her residence and coerced her into undressing.
Assistant Attorney General Doug Godbee said Wednesday that the aggravated sexual battery charge, which is a Class B felony, was placed against White pending the results of forensic tests on the victim. Depending on what those test results indicate, the charge against White might be upgraded to a Class A felony.
When the victim’s husband arrived home from work Sunday shortly after 8 p.m., he allegedly observed White in bed with his wife. Godbee said it’s been difficult obtaining specific information from the victim, who has trouble communicating.
According to the arrest warrant filed by Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Detective Lt. Alan Kidd, the woman told investigators White broke into the home, sexually assaulted her, and coerced her into the bedroom and to take her clothes off. The woman also reportedly indicated White had been with her four to five hours prior to her husband’s arrival.
The victim’s husband allegedly beat White after finding him “with little or no clothes on” in bed with the victim, according to the warrant. White apparently escaped the beating and ran out of the house as the victim’s husband paused to call 911.
The HCSO found White not far away at a church, although White’s clothes were still at the victim’s home.
The attorney general’s office is also investigating a potential kidnapping charge against White for allegedly barricading himself and the woman inside the residence.
According to reports, the woman and her husband were not friends with White, although White had reportedly been told in the past to stay away from the woman’s residence. White is known to police for numerous alcohol-related arrests, and he was allegedly intoxicated during the events Sunday.
In fact, his arrest sheet indicated he was too intoxicated to use the telephone after arriving at jail. Hawkins County authorities were well-aware of White’s condition with AIDS due to his many visits in the past to the Hawkins County Jail.
White is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Hawkins County Sessions Court on March 24.