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A former Skyline, Ala., high school resource officer was charged Monday in a sex crimes case from 2003 involving a then-teenage girl who has come forward with the allegations as an adult.

Lee Carrell Perry Jr., 49, of Fackler, Ala., was arrested Sunday on grand jury indictments charging him with one count of second-degree statutory rape, three counts of sexual contact with a victim 12 to 16 years old, three counts of second-degree sodomy and two counts of enticing a child for immoral purposes, according to Jackson County authorities.

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Lee Carrell Perry Jr.
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Perry is free on a $65,000 bond.

Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips said Tuesday that Perry was a school resource officer with the sheriff's office in 2003 when Phillips was chief investigator. Perry was the SRO at Skyline High School and had previously worked at the Skyline Police Department. The girl, then in her early teens, didn't want to pursue charges in 2003 when the allegations first arose, the sheriff said.

"Thank goodness she changed her mind," Phillips said Tuesday. "Over the years it must have bothered her and she decided she needed to do something about it, but I don't know for sure."

Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen Jr. said the 11-year-old rape case was revived after the now-adult victim came back "and told us what happened, and it went before the grand jury."

The grand jury met earlier this month.

Harnen said Perry resigned amid the allegations in 2003 and, to his knowledge, never worked in law enforcement again. In the years that followed Perry worked for local businesses, Harnen said.

The sheriff and chief deputy said they believe this is the first child-sex case in recent county history to be revived by an alleged victim so many years later. Harnen noted that there is no statute of limitations in rape cases.

Harnen said Perry has no known prior criminal record.

The sheriff said it disturbs him to have a former Jackson County officer arrested on such charges.

"Law enforcement is held to a higher standard than the normal public, and I try to adhere to that, and I try to run my office that way," Phillips said. "It doesn't make me very happy."

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or twitter.com/BenBenton or www.facebook.com/ben.benton1 or 423-757-6569.

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