Grand jury indicts two Rhea County men on rape charges

Grand jury indicts two Rhea County men on rape charges

October 7th, 2017 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

Donald Houston

Donald Houston

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Rhea County grand jurors this week issued two indictments in separate cases charging two Dayton, Tenn., men with rape.

Donald Ray Houston Sr., 68, is charged with four counts of rape of a child, Rhea County Sheriff's Office investigator Rocky Potter said Friday.

"We started an investigation about a month ago" when a teenage girl disclosed to a counselor that someone had sexually assaulted her several times when she was under the age of 12 while she was visiting his residence, Potter said.

He said the victim was interviewed at a local Child Advocacy Center and Houston spoke with police.

"He gave me a statement that was pretty consistent with what she had alleged," Potter said.

In the second, unrelated case, 45-year-old Charles Shipman was charged with aggravated rape of a woman, Potter said.

Charles Shipman

Charles Shipman

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The investigation was triggered by a 911 call made by the victim in mid-August from a convenience store.

Potter said Shipman was a friend of the victim's family and the victim had gone to his home to wait for a ride.

Shipman is accused of forcibly raping and injuring the woman, the investigator said.

"When she was able to get away from Shipman, she ran from the residence to a nearby convenience store and called 911," Potter said.

Ambulance personnel transported the victim to Rhea Medical Center for treatment and an examination, he said.

Houston's bond was set at $100,000. Shipman's bond was set at $75,000. Both men were being held at the Rhea County Jail.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1 on Facebook.