TBI investigating Gatlinburg police detective for perjury in Ooltewah rape case

District Attorney's office says Burns' testimony differed from police report

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 2/15/16. Detective Rodney Burns of the Gatlinburg Police Department is sworn in as a witness before Judge Robert Philyaw during a preliminary hearing for the Ooltewah High School basketball coaches and the school's athletic director in Hamilton County Juvenile Court on February 15, 2016. Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston charged head coach Andre "Tank" Montgomery, assistant coach Karl Williams and Athletic Director Allard "Jesse" Nayadley with failing to report child abuse or suspected child sexual abuse in connection with the rape of an Ooltewah High School freshman by his basketball teammates Dec. 22, 2015.

State law officers are investigating whether a Gatlinburg, Tenn., police detective committed perjury when he testified Monday in Hamilton County that an Ooltewah High School freshman was not raped by his teammates.

The Hamilton County District Attorney's Office asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into Detective Rodney Burns after his testimony Monday differed from incident reports he filed in connection with the Dec. 22 incident.

Burns testified in Hamilton County Juvenile Court that the freshman was assaulted, not raped. He spoke during a preliminary hearing for three adults charged with failing to report abuse or suspected sexual abuse.

In petitions Burns signed against the three former Ooltewah High School students charged with aggravated rape and aggravated assault, he wrote that a 17-year-old took a "pool cue stick and forced it into the rectum and prostate gland [of the victim.]"