Kingsport police say Shawn Lee Wray, charged with raping a child, was already facing charges before his most recent arrest -- he failed to register in Tennessee as a convicted sex offender and police found out.
"In cases like this one we found out this guy was in violation prior to this,” Kingsport Detective Randy Murray said. “We were able to push that through the court system."
That fact combined with the circumstances surrounding this case meant Kingsport police moved in immediately to make an arrest and had federal backup handy. "We put all of our resources available into this severe case,” Murray added. “We moved immediately to act and apprehend."
Offenders in Tennessee are handled by one of several entities depending on the charges they were convicted on. Unfortunately, law enforcement is sometimes unaware an unregistered offender is in the area until notified.
"You wouldn't,” Sullivan County Detective Joe Smelser said. “Until somebody somewhere gives you some insight. Some friend, some family, victim or some new neighbor, somebody gets wind of it and they will call and they say, "I don't know, but I think." Then you start checking it out."
The actual numbers of registered offenders in Sullivan County is currently 87, Bristol, Kingsport and the Board of Probation and Parole are each handling around 50 right now.
If you want to check the registry for offenders in your area, click here to view that website.