(Released for publication) On June 6, 2014, the Kingsport Police Department was notified of a statutory rape that had occurred the previous day, June 5, 2014, at the Kingsport Aquatic Center, located at 1820 Meadowview Parkway in Kingsport. K.P.D. Detectives acted promptly and launched a thorough investigation into the incident, revealing the following details.
Approximately one month ago, a local female teenager met an individual online via the popular social media application, FaceBook. This subject identified himself by the alias “Omaha Jackson,” but in reality, he would soon be identified as Larry Nick Swift, Jr. of Weber City, Virginia. These two individuals then began an online relationship, consisting of several conversations, during which time the teenager learned Mr. Swift’s true age to be 28, and Mr. Swift learned the teenager’s true age to be 13.
Despite the known age disparity and laws to the contrary, the two agreed to meet in person on June 4, 2014 at the Kingsport Town Center, located at 2101 Fort Henry Drive in Kingsport. During this initial meeting, the two planned to meet again the following day. On June 5, 2014, Mr. Swift and the teenager met at the Kingsport Aquatic Center. While at this facility, the two voluntarily went together into a family restroom and engaged in mutually consensual sexual activity.
The next day, on June 6, 2014, the teenager revealed the incident to her mother, who promptly reported the matter to law enforcement. On June 10, 2014, K.P.D. Detectives were able to locate Mr. Swift and take him into custody without incident. He has been charged with aggravated statutory rape and confined in the Kingsport City Jail. Mr. Swift was arraigned this morning, June 11, 2014, at 9:30 AM. He is currently eligible for release pending a $7,500 bond. His next appearance is scheduled for September 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM in General Sessions Court.
For clarification purposes, in the State of Tennessee, Aggravated Statutory Rape is the consensual, yet unlawful, sexual penetration of a victim by the defendant, or of the defendant by the victim when the victim is at least thirteen (13) but less than eighteen (18) years of age and the defendant is at least ten (10) years older than the victim. Aggravated Statutory Rape is a Class D Felony.
All parents are encouraged to talk regularly with their children about the dangers of forming online relationships. Sexual predators routinely utilize the internet in general and social media specifically to meet their victims. No person, regardless of their age, should release personal information online to an unverified source. Furthermore, if a minor should meet someone online, they should never agree to meet the individual in person, especially without their parents’ knowledge and consent. Finally, parents are cautioned to make every effort to monitor the online activity of their children and become familiar with their children’s online friends.
However, with that being said, this particular situation was absolutely not a random act, and at no point were any other individuals in any danger. This was an isolated incident involving two individuals, who were truthful with one another regarding their respective age and willingly engaged in unlawful sexual activity.
The Kingsport Police Department and the Kingsport Aquatic Center have been in constant communication since the facility opened to ensure that safety is the number one priority. Even still, the policies and procedures of the facility will certainly be reviewed and evaluated to determine if there is any room for improvement.
This is a very unfortunate incident, and both the City of Kingsport and the Kingsport Police Department wish to stress that our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family as they deal with this trying event.