KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knox County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday that a man who had been charged in connection to a rape and assault case dating back to 2016 has been resentenced after entering a guilty plea. The sentencing comes after a lengthy court process stemming from a May 2021 conviction that was later vacated due to one of the jurors knowing the defendant.
Anthony Todd Woods of Halls pled guilty to statutory rape and aggravated assault in Knox County Criminal Division Court on Tuesday, Feb. 21, according to KCSO. Woods was sentenced to 8 years on supervised state probation.
But there’s more to this case than this latest sentencing update. Woods’ previous conviction in this case was vacated last year due to an issue with one of the 2021 trial jurors.
KCSO confirmed in an email update to WATE 6 On Your Side Tuesday that Woods had initially been sentenced to 30 years after the May 2021 trial and he went to prison until February 2022, which is when he returned to court for new motions.
Woods was then granted a motions hearing and requested a new trial. During the motions hearing, KCSO says “it came out that a jury member in the May 2021 trial had known the defendant and the judge had to vacate the conviction and grant a new trial.”
The new trial was supposed to have taken place in March 2023 – next month – with a Special Counsel brought in for the case because of a conflict with the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office, according to KCSO, but then Woods entered a new plea agreement.
Woods pled guilty to the charges statutory rape and aggravated assault on Tuesday. In an update on a social media post shared by KCSO Tuesday, officials shared the following:
“The Special Counsel with the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Defense counsel agreed on the plea agreement and the plea agreement was accepted by the judge presiding over this case,” KCSO stated in an updated social media post regarding the case. “As law enforcement professionals, we work tirelessly with victims to seek justice and always strive to advocate on their behalf. Like many of you, we don’t always like the outcome, but we respect the judicial process and know we will continue the good fight.”
In May 2021, KCSO said that back in 2016, the Knox County Sheriff’s office said Woods was taken into custody after a minor was raped. A no-trespass warning was also placed on Woods for Knox County Schools and Knox County-sponsored events. He was then arrested in December 2016 after trying to attend Halls High School’s football banquet at Halls Senior Center.
Woods will serve his sentencing of 8 years on supervised state probation.