By MELINDA WILLIAMS
A 78-year-old Hiwassee man pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of aggravated sexual battery involving two girls under the age of 13.
Clarence Ray Chrisley, who said he has a seventh-grade education, could receive up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced on both counts April 10.
According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Tracy Smith learned of the sexual batteries a year ago when she was contacted by Virginia Department of Social Services. He said the victims told officials Chrisley touched them inappropriately and told them not to tell anyone.
Confronted by Smith, Chrisley admitted the incidents, said he was sorry and indicated he knew it was wrong, Fleenor told Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Marcus Long Jr.
The judge accepted Chrisley’s guilty plea and granted defense attorney Everett Shockley’s request for Chrisley to remain free on bond pending sentencing. Shockley said his client provides “around the clock” care for his ailing wife, who suffers form dementia.
As a condition of his bond, Chrisley is prohibited from contacting the victims or being around anyone under the age of 18. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.