Jasper man charged with sexual exploitation of a minor as TBI seeks more alleged victims

TBI seeks more alleged victims

Staff Photo / The Marion County Justice Center is shown in 2015 in Jasper, Tenn.
Staff Photo / The Marion County Justice Center is shown in 2015 in Jasper, Tenn.

A Jasper man has been charged with sexual exploitation of a minor in an investigation begun Nov. 21, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking for more alleged victims.

John Harley Dobbs, 38, was arrested after authorities received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Josh DeVine, spokesperson for the TBI, said in a news release.

(READ MORE: Cleveland man held on $500,000 bond after failing to appear in court ahead of murder trial)

Dobbs was already in custody at the Marion County Justice Center on an unrelated charge, DeVine said. Agents assigned to the TBI's Internet Crimes Against Children Squad determined Dobbs was in possession of child sexual abuse material and charged him in connection with an ongoing sexual exploitation investigation.

Contacted by phone, Marion County Jail officials said Dobbs was being held without bond and faces a court date Dec. 20. Officials in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office said Dobbs has no lawyer on record yet, and the status of his legal representation could be part of his next court appearance.

District Attorney Courtney C. Lynch said Dobbs could face more problems as the probe continues.

"It is an ongoing investigation with the possibility of other charges," Lynch said in an email.

(READ MORE: 'Sexploitation' lands Monteagle man in jail on two counts alleging misconduct with minors)

Meanwhile, the TBI is seeking more information.

"At this time, it remains unclear whether there may be an additional victim or victims in relation to this case," DeVine said in the release. "For that reason, the TBI is releasing a booking photograph of Dobbs and urges anyone with information to contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND."

Contact Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

  photo  Contributed photo / John Harley Dobbs, 38, of Jasper, Tenn.

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