A Knox County man has been given 20 years behind bars after a jury found him guilty of raping a 15-year-old in May, 2018.

Police stated that Lavern Gray, 56, gave a minor “an unknown drug/substance without her knowledge.” He then threatened the girl and forced himself on her. He was arrested on May 28, 2018, three weeks after the incident occurred. Gray has been lodged in the Knox County Detention Center ever since.

The trial only took one day although it took some time to get this point. Gray was indicted in July, 2018 however the wait for DNA evidence stalled the case. Multiple pre-trial conferences were held with the last one occurring in December, 2019.

Gray was found guilty on two counts; first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy. A third charge for unlawful transaction with a minor was dropped. Formal sentencing is set for March 27 in the Knox County Circuit Court. The jury recommended Gray serve his two 10-year sentences concurrently.

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