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TBI alleges statutory rape by army recruiter

A Tennessee Army National Guard recruiter turned himself in this week after being indicted by the Claiborne Grand Jury on six counts of statutory rape by an authority figure.

Matthew Douglas Franklin, 32, who was stationed in New Tazewell at the time of the alleged incidents, was under surveillance by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) since September at the request of attorney general Jared Effler of the 8th Judicial District.

At that time, the TBI joined forces with the New Tazewell Police Department in the investigation that allegedly unearthed enough evidence to charge Franklin with multiple counts involving sexual contact with three juvenile females.

The incidents allegedly occurred from March 2018 through September of this year.

Franklin, who resides in Knoxville, was immediately terminated from his position as a recruiter when it was learned that he was charged with these allegations.

He was booked into the Claiborne County Jail on Dec. 5 under a $25,000 bond.