BLOUNTVILLE — A recently terminated corrections sergeant at the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office — and former assistant Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop in Kingsport — has been arrested on dozens of charges related to sexual exploitation of children.
Randy Hass, 45, of 308 R.C. Barrett Road, Kingsport, was indicted Tuesday by a Sullivan County grand jury. He turned himself in to police early Friday morning and was released upon posting $100,000 bond. The 16-year veteran of the SCSO was fired nearly seven months ago, less than 24 hours after the sheriff’s office launched an internal investigation into allegations against him.
“To me, this is the most disgusting and sickening employee investigation in my 13 years as sheriff,” said Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson.
Doug Mitchell, assistant Scout executive for the Sequoyah Council, said Hass was first registered as leader of a Kingsport troop in 2000. His registration with that same troop continued through 2010, identifying him as an assistant Scoutmaster when it expired. It has not been renewed.
According to Mitchell, Hass was also registered as the leader of a Boy Scout Explorer Post at the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office from 2002 through 2008.
While authorities are declining to specify Hass’ relationship with the alleged victims, Anderson said he made contact with them through work in “youth activities.”
Following the termination of Hass in April, the FBI was contacted to assist police and the district attorney’s office in a criminal probe. “Thousands” of images containing minors engaged in sexual activity were allegedly discovered on Hass’ computer and cell phone. Authorities say Hass either appeared in, or is believed to have personally taken, some of the photographs. Others were reportedly downloaded from the Internet.
During a Friday morning press conference, Anderson and Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Julie Canter declined to comment on the number of possible victims, or how long Hass has been engaged in the alleged activities. Anderson said Hass is not believed to have been working in his capacity at the sheriff’s office, or representing himself as such, when the incidents occurred.
Twenty-seven indictments for sexual exploitation of a minor allege Hass possessed photographs that “include a minor engaged in sexual activity and simulated sexual activity which is patently offensive.”
The five counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor claim he did “employ, use, assist, transport or permit a minor to participate in the performance of acts” that are patently offensive.
Hass was also indicted on five charges of official misconduct.
Anderson said that if convicted on all counts, Hass faces a sentence of between 105 and 190 years.
“It’s really, really hard on officers here,” Anderson said of the indictments against a veteran employee. “It’s stressful for all of us. You see the guy every day, he appears to be a good person, and you don’t know what he’s doing.”
Anderson went on to emphasize that parents need to question their children on relationships with other individuals — even if that person is a police officer, pastor, coach, neighbor or friend.
“If they’re taking them places and doing things, and it doesn’t seem normal, it probably isn’t.”comments powered by Disqus