Grundy County man could face up to a century behind bars in child rape sentencing

Contributed by Grundy County Sheriff's Office / James Allen Worley, 28, of Palmer, Tenn.
Contributed by Grundy County Sheriff's Office / James Allen Worley, 28, of Palmer, Tenn.
photo Contributed by Grundy County Sheriff's Office / James Allen Worley, 28, of Palmer, Tenn.

A Palmer, Tennessee, man convicted in an August jury trial of rape of a child and criminal attempt to commit rape of a child could face more than a century in prison if he receives the maximum sentence on all counts.

James Allen Worley, 28, was found guilty in Grundy County Circuit Court of four counts of rape of a child and one count reduced in the conviction to the lesser-included offense of attempted rape of a child, according to officials and court records.

Worley faces sentencing Wednesday on his convictions, according to court officials. The sentencing hearing will be held before Judge Justin Angel in Sequatchie County, but it's possible that date could be changed, according to David McGovern, the 12th Judicial District assistant district attorney who is prosecuting the case.

(READ MORE: TBI investigating after woman shot dead by police in Monteagle, Tenn.)

The incidents occurred between January 2018 and October 2019 and involved a child younger than 13 years old, court records state. Worley first spoke with Grundy County Sheriff's deputies after authorities were made aware of the allegations on Oct. 16, 2019, records state.

"He could conceivably get more than a 100-year sentence on this," McGovern said Friday in a telephone interview. Rape of a child is a felony punishable by at least 25 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000, under state law. Attempting to commit child rape is also a felony, carrying a sentence of 8-12 years in prison.

Worley is represented by 12th Judicial District Public Defender Jeff Harmon's office. Harmon was out of the office Friday and could not be reached for comment.

(READ MORE: Rhea County woman who scalded toddler's feet gets 20-year prison sentence)

If Worley is sentenced consecutively on each of the five counts, the minimum sentence could be at least 108 years, according to state sentencing guidelines. The judge also can order the sentence on each count to be served concurrently, or at the same time, which would result in less prison time.

Worley was also ordered to undergo a physiological evaluation and records state any fine will be decided at sentencing, records state.

The sentencing hearing is currently slated for 11 a.m. CST at the Grundy County Courthouse in Altamont.

Contact Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.

(READ MORE: Reward offered in case of man missing in Grundy County since last July)

Upcoming Events