A homeless sex offender from Alaska who was taken in by an East Hamblen County couple was jailed for aggravated sexual battery early Friday morning after he was allegedly spotted kissing and fondling their 5-year-old daughter, according to authorities.
Gordon Leroy Paul, 57, remained in the Hamblen County Jail this morning in lieu of $200,000 bond. Paul was convicted of multiple counts of child molestation in Marion County, Indiana in 1996 and 1997, according to the Indiana Department of Correction.
Someone other than the child’s parents witnessed the alleged sexual assault Thursday night, according to Detective Sgt. Jim Brooks with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department.
“The witness stated that she observed the defendant ‘French kissing’ the 5-year-old and removing his hand from her private area,” an arrest warrant Brooks obtained states.
Brooks said this morning that Paul declined to give a statement or even say how long he’s been in Hamblen County or how he wound up more than 2,700 miles from his birthplace in Sitka, Alaska. Paul could face additional charges in state or federal court.
Paul apparently did not register with the sheriff’s department when he relocated to Hamblen County. Failing to register can also be prosecuted in federal court.
Defendants convicted of aggravated sexual battery face between eight and 12 years in state prison and are not eligible for parole until they serve 85 percent of their sentences.