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Jury convicts Rogersville man of child rape, incest

February 17th, 2009 12:00 am by Jeff Bobo






ROGERSVILLE — It took a Hawkins County jury about one hour of deliberations to find Daniel Ross McClellan guilty of rape of a child and incest following a trial held Tuesday in Hawkins County Circuit Court.


Although McClellan, 44, of Rogersville, won’t be sentenced until Thursday, the jury agreed to the maximum fines on both charges for a total of $60,000.


McClellan faces up to 50 years in prison when he is sentenced Thursday by Judge John Dugger.


McClellan came to the attention of the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office in April 2007 after his son, Daniel Robert McClellan, 20, was arrested on child rape charges. When the father came to the jail to see abut getting bail for his son, it was determined that the father was a convicted sex offender from Florida who had failed to register upon moving to Hawkins County.


Shortly after the Times-News reported Daniel Ross McClellan’s arrest for failure to register as a convicted sex offender, a 16-year-old girl came forward to police and alleged that she’d been raped by the elder McClellan 11 years earlier when she was 5 years old.


That victim, now 18, testified during Tuesday’s trial. The victim’s older brother also testified, saying he’d walked in on them while a rape was in progress.


Prosecutors alleged that the rapes took place between May and December 1995.


Other evidence for the prosecution side included testimony from a grandmother who reported a rape at the time it occurred in 1995, as well as old police and Department of Human Services records of rape being reported.


McClellan fled the state during the 1995 investigation.


Upon his arrest in 2007, McClellan had also given a statement to investigators admitting the rape of the child, although he testified during Tuesday’s trial that he only made that statement after he and and his wife were threatened by investigators.


McClellan testified that he had not sexually abused his children.


The attorney general’s office has filed for McClellan to be sentenced as a range 2 offender due to two prior felony sex offenses in Florida. Under the range 2 enhancement, the rape of a child sentence ranges from 25 to 40 years, and the incest conviction ranges from six to 10 years, for a total of 31 to 50 years.


McClellan’s son, Daniel Robert McClellan, pleaded guilty last year to rape of a child and attempted rape of a child and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. That’s not the same son who testified against McClellan in Tuesday’s trial.


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