Larry L. Sumner, 56
BLOUNTVILLE — A Kingsport man has pleaded guilty to the serial sexual abuse of multiple children over a 20-year period, receiving a sentence of 50 years in prison.
Larry L. Sumner, 56, appeared Friday in Sullivan County Court in Blountville. Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney William Harper says Sumner had his attorney read a statement during the proceedings, relaying that he entered the plea to avoid causing any more harm to his victims and his family.
Sumner was indicted last December on 31 counts each of rape by an authority figure, sexual exploitation of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of minors. Harper says those incidents stem from the abuse of three juveniles, from 8 years old to teenage, though there were other victims during Sumner's two decades as a child predator.
In the initial investigation, the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office executed a search on Sumner's Chadwell Road home, uncovering evidence one of the victims had said would be present: videos, photos, magazines, sex toys and clothes Sumner made them wear.
SCSO Det. Tracy Haraz said the items indicated abuse of both male and female juveniles since the '90s, and at five separate Kingsport residences Sumner has inhabited. Some of the victims were reportedly employed by Sumner to assist in remodeling work he was contracted to do, along with other odd jobs.
"His statement to me was that he didn't see anything wrong with (the allegations). He can't believe someone actually told, and that he enjoyed it," Haraz said of Sumner's statements upon his arrest last year.
Sumner was originally uncooperative with police, said Haraz, and went to Gatlinburg when first contacted by investigators in November of last year. She said he felt no remorse "other than he was caught."