What happened with previous rape charge against suspect in gruesome Oak Ridge murder

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Editor’s Note: The following story is graphic in nature and reader’s discretion is advised.

ANDERSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – A $1 million bond has been set for both suspects in a gruesome Oak Ridge murder, Sean Finnegan and Rebecca Dishman. The two face multiple charges including murder, kidnapping, and abuse of a corpse.

Arrest warrants say Finnegan and Dishman lured 36-year-old Jennifer Paxton into their home in December 2019, promising a place to stay. Documents say she was held against her will, beat with a baseball bat, raped, and strangled. They also report her body was stuffed in a freezer, with parts removed.

The report, obtained Monday, shows on Jan. 28, 2015, a Knoxville Police officer responded to a report of kidnapping. Their report also includes a victim reporting to law enforcement she was taken from a home in Knoxville, to a home in Louisville. The report also noted abrasions, bruises, and other injuries on the woman. The victim was able to get away from Finnegan, by convincing him to bring her back to Knoxville, to pick up her 11-year-old daughter, according to the report. Ultimately, the reported noted investigators in Blount County were notified.

In January 2015, we reported Finnegan was charged with aggravated rape and kidnapping in Blount County. Our reports cite information received from the sheriff’s office. That information included a woman claiming Finnegan kidnapped her from a Knoxville home, and took her to his home in Louisville for two days. BCSO also reported deputies finding evidence in his home that supported the victim’s account of what occurred.

We also confirmed those charges through a TBI background check, received Friday.

What happened with those charges? This is where the trail goes cold.

The Blount County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office was unable to find a report on the charges. A spokesperson with the sheriff’s office says they have no record of Finnegan in their system.

Knoxville Police, however, does have a report on the alleged incident.

We will continue to follow this investigation.

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