A 74-year-old cross-dressing Newport man was arrested in the Cherokee Park campground Thursday evening after he allegedly propositioned sex with a 17-year-old boy, according to authorities.
R.J. Collins, who lives on Hidden Estates Way in Newport, allegedly proposed having sex with the 17-year-old in close proximity to the teen’s father, according to Deputy Jonathan Sabetta.
The defendant, who was wearing women’s clothing, came to the alleged victim’s camper around 6:30 p.m. to ask about a dog. The conversation drifted to the topic of underage sex and there stuck, at least until the boy’s father intervened, according to a warrant.
A subsequent consensual search of Collins’ camper turned up more women’s apparel When Sabetta searched Collins phone, he found recent searches “regarding escort services in Morristown” that employ gay men, according to the deputy.
Collins is charged with solicitation of a minor. Defendants convicted of that offense face between one and three years behind bars. Collins was released from the Hamblen County Jail after posting a $15,000 bond. Sabetta did not identify the alleged victim or his father.