BLOUNTVILLE — A Kingsport man accused of rape and abuse of his infant child and of residing with his girlfriend’s other children in violation of his status as a registered child sex offender is now being held without bond.
Shawn Lee Wray, 27, 404 Barnett Drive, Lot 47, had his $5,000 bond on two sex offender registry violations revoked following a hearing Tuesday in Sullivan County Circuit Court.
Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Julie Canter had asked the judge to revoke or increase his bond due to Wray’s July 10 arrest on aggravated child rape and aggravated child abuse charges and two new registry violations.
One of the violations Canter is prosecuting Wray on alleges he was living with a girlfriend and her 2-month-old son in Lee Apartments, 650 E. Sevier Ave., Apt. 128, between July 23, 2011, and Aug. 23, 2011. The second violation stems from the apartment’s location — within 1,000 feet of New Horizons Alternative School, 520 Myrtle St., Kingsport.
The rape and abuse charges allege Wray raped and abused his 6-month-old infant child on July 9. The two new registry violations allege Wray had been residing with his girlfriend’s two other children.
According to court records, Holston Valley Medical Center staff examined the infant on July 9 and found a severe skull fracture, broken arm and signs of sexual trauma.
During Tuesday’s bond hearing, Kingsport Police Department Detective Steve Summey read a written record of a verbal statement obtained from Wray after he turned himself in at a local fire station and was arrested July 10. In it, Wray denies that he raped his child and says he has no knowledge of how the child suffered the apparent sexual injury.
According to Summey’s testimony, Wray said he had “smoked pot” on July 8 and “drank several beers” on July 9.
Summey said Wray told him that on the morning of July 9 his girlfriend got up and went to work about 9 a.m., and the infant was “in bed with me.” Wray said he got out of bed about 10:30 a.m., and the infant’s head hit a wall as he carried the child down the hall.
Wray said he put the infant down, and the child went to sleep. He said he “figured” the child’s head was “bruised and it would eventually go away.” When his girlfriend returned home, she noticed the infant’s “head was swollen” and took the child to the hospital, Summey testified.
Summey said Wray told him he then left the residence, hitchhiked to Johnson City, stopped at a McDonald’s, and then spent some time “drinking.” He said he did not call to check on his child.
According to Summey’s testimony, Wray suggested the infant’s apparent sexual injury could have been caused by the infant “jumping up and down on a bouncy seat and bouncing on the floor.”
Wray told him, “I did not rape (the child),” Summey testified.
The judge also considered testimony from a KPD officer who arrested Wray on another pending charge — “possession of drug paraphernalia” as the officer recalled.
Wray’s next appearance in circuit court is set for Sept. 7. In Kingsport General Sessions Court, Wray is scheduled for an Aug. 14 preliminary hearing on the latest charges. Previously, a sessions court judge had increased his bond on those charges from $100,000 to $125,000.
On Tuesday, Canter advised Wray could choose to go ahead and post that new bond on his sessions court charges, but he would remain in jail.
Wray is on the Tennessee Sexual Offender Registry and barred from living with minors other than his own children due to a March 31, 2006, conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child in Montgomery County, Texas.
According to Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Emily Smith, in Tennessee child sex offenders may live with their own children unless they have been convicted of a sexual offense against one of them or their parental rights have been or are being terminated.