Former Tennessee Army National Guard recruiter accused of sexual misconduct with juveniles

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32-year-old Matthew Franklin. Source: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

NEW TAZEWELL, Tenn. (WATE) – A Knoxville man has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of statutory rape by an authority figure, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Thursday.

A Claiborne County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Matthew Franklin, 32, with six counts of Statutory Rape by an Authority Figure after an investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

In September, at the request of 8th District Attorney General Jared Effler, TBI Agents joined the New Tazewell Police Department to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct involving Franklin.

Investigators determined Franklin engaged in sexual contact with three juvenile females between March 2018 and September 2019 while he was employed as a recruiter for the Tennessee Army National Guard in New Tazewell.

Franklin’s employment was terminated when the allegations surfaced. He was booked into the Claiborne County Jail Thursday on a $25,000 bond.

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