published Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Hamilton County: Sexual battery charge against JROTC head sent to grand jury

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    Thomas McConnell, 65, is charged with aggravated sexual battery after he reportedly fondled a 5-year-old girl while sitting at a restaurant Sunday. Contributed photo

A judge sent an aggravated sexual battery charge against the head of Hamilton County Schools’ JROTC program to the grand jury this morning.

Witnesses told police they saw Thomas C. McConnell, 65, grope a 5-year-old girl in a local restaurant on March 4.

One of the witnesses recorded the incident with her iPhone and shared that recording with police, according to court records.

Prosecutors showed the video during a preliminary hearing in the courtroom of Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Ronald Durby.

McConnell is free on bond as he awaits trial. He has been suspended from both his Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps job and his position as deacon at St. Jude Catholic Church pending the outcome of the charges.

For more see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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