Royce Scott Earley (ACSO mugshot)

Clinton man receives 104-year sentence after sex abuse convictions

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Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark announced Monday that a Clinton man will spend the next 104 years behind bars following his conviction earlier this year on charges related to the rape of his then-eight-year-old daughter.

45-year-old Royce Scott Earley was convicted after a three-day long trial in February on two counts each of the rape of a child and incest as well as one count of aggravated sexual battery.

The conviction followed an investigation by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office which resulted in a grand jury indictment in the spring of 2020.

The abuse occurred between November 1st and December 15th of 2019, according to the DA’s office, and the victim was only eight years old at the time.

Earley appeared in court Friday before Judge Ryan Spitzer and prosecutors argued for enhanced penalties and consecutive sentences due to “the severity of the convictions, the vulnerability of the minor child, and [Earley’s] lack of remorse and accountability for his actions,” according to General Clark’s release. The Judge apparently agreed, finding the crimes to be “especially egregious,” and sentencing Earley to the maximum sentence available under the law, namely 40 years on each count of rape of a child, 12 years on the aggravated sexual battery conviction, and six years each for the two counts of incest.

Spitzer also found that the victim in this case suffered mental anguish, and when coupled with other aggravating factors, ordered each sentence to be served consecutively. Additionally, Judge Spitzer also ordered Earley to be placed on the Sex Offender Registry and, in the event of his release, to remain on community supervision for the rest of his life.

“We try to manage a broken and overwhelmed criminal justice system every day. It is encouraging when things work like they should. On behalf of the people of our State, I am grateful to all those who helped achieve justice in this case; especially the young and courageous victim,” Clark wrote in a statement issued Monday.

In addition to the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, this case was also investigated by the Child Advocacy Center, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, and DCS.

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