Man arrested for trying to have sex with 13-year-old in Knoxville

Local News
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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A Monroe County man was arrested Monday for attempting to have sex with a 13-year-old girl in Knoxville and police believe there may be other victims in the case.

Justin Phelps, 26, was arrested Monday and charged with solicitation of a minor – aggravated statutory rape, as well as a violation of the sex offender registry.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office says their Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received information last week that someone was communicating with a 13-year-old girl online in an attempt to engage in sexual acts. The girl’s parents believed that person was an adult.

The parents said the man had tried to enter their daughter’s bedroom on two separate occasions. The task force was able to ascertain that the suspect was Phelps, who had been convicted in September 2011 for attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and placed on the sex offender registry.

Phelps was arrested around 3:15 p.m. Monday after police say he agreed to engage in sexual acts with a 13-year-old girl and drove to meet her.

Phelps posted $25,000 bond and was released Monday, only to be arrested again on Wednesday on new charges. Investigators secured two new warrants for sex offender registry form violation and perjury, each of which carry a $10,000 bond. Monroe County deputies placed him into custody and he was sent back to the Knox County jail.

Police say they have received information that there may be other victims in this case. The investigation is ongoing.

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