Gatlinburg police chief guarantees PD, city are taking allegations against detective seriously

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.

Gatlinburg Police Chief Randall Brackins guaranteed the public today the police department and city are taking allegations against a detective seriously.

The city and the Gatlinburg Police Department released a statement today saying they "take this matter very seriously," after Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston requested the TBI investigate whether a Gatlinburg Detective perjured himself during a hearing in the Ooltewah basketball rape case.

Detective Rodney Burns testified in a Juvenile Court hearing on Monday saying the sexual assault of a 15-year-old freshman, in which a pool cue was inserted into the boy's rectum, puncturing his colon, prostate and bladder, wasn't rape because the assailants didn't receive sexual gratification.

Pinkston asked TBI to begin a probe, saying Burns' statements contradicted what he originally wrote in incident reports.

Bryan E. Delius, an attorney for Burns said yesterday claims that his client perjured himself are "base" and "reckless," and his client "wholly denies any wrongdoing."

In the press release sent today, Gatlinburg Police Chief Randall Brackins, "We have three victims and their families who have been affected by this crime and our hearts go out to all of them during this very difficult time."

"It is our priority that this crime is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, by law we cannot comment on the juvenile case."

The release also says because of the criminal allegations leveled against Burns, they cannot comment on the case, but "will cooperate fully with the TBI and their investigation."

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