Claiborne man charged with numerous sex crimes of a child

Published 11:05 am Sunday, January 2, 2022

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A Claiborne County man was arrested late last week and charged with numerous sex crimes involving a child he was looking after.

Vennis Barnett, 43, allegedly used his position as an authority figure to commit some 80 offenses including 40 counts of aggravated rape and 35 counts of rape of a child.

The litany of alleged offenses includes aggravated sexual battery and the continuous abuse of a child.

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The joint investigation between New Tazewell Detective Lt. Gary Ruszkowski and the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office netted charges that will likely increase in number as the case is currently active and ongoing.

As of press time, Barnett had not been arraigned nor his bond set due to the holidays.