KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A man accused of sexually abusing a child while working at Apostolic Christian Academy in Maryville has been indicted on new charges involving a minor in Sevier County.
A Sevier County Grand Jury indicted 26-year-old Joseph Abbott on two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure on Feb. 27. Court documents show he is accused of sexual contact with a victim who was at least 13 years old in May of last year.
In January, Abbott was arrested in North Carolina and transported to Blount County where he was served a warrant for sexual battery by an authority figure. Investigators said the victim was 14 years old.
A civil lawsuit filed months before his arrest said he was employed by the First Apostolic Church of Maryville and worked at Apostolic Christian Academy, a school operated by the church, at the time of the alleged crimes in 2022.
It contends that First Apostolic was extremely negligent in the supervision of staff and students at Apostolic Christian Academy which led to the endangerment of the children there, including the 14-year-old victim. The family is seeking $1.5 million in compensatory damages, $3 million in punitive damages, the costs of the litigation and any other relief available.