KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A man was sentenced to 35 years in prison after he was convicted in March of raping a child he was babysitting in Knoxville, the Knox County District Attorney’s Office announced on Friday.
According to the DA’s office, Steven Lee McAbee, 43, was convicted of two counts of rape of a child and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Under Tennessee law, McAbee will have to serve the 35-year sentence without the possibility of parole.
During the three-day trial in March, prosecutors told the jury that McAbee occasionally babysat the victim when they were 7 and 8 years old. According to the DA’s release, McAbee raped the victim on two separate occasions at two homes in South Knoxville.
“This victim, who is still a child, showed great courage coming forward to testify,” said
DA Charme Allen.
The child disclosed the abuse when they were 8 years old, the DA’s office said. A detective with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and interviewed witnesses, and ChildHelp Tennessee forensically interviewed the victim.