Early next year – half a decade after a first grader complained that a Sequatchie County constable had sexually assaulted her at his home on Signal Mountain – a jury finally is scheduled to decide whether there’s any truth to the charge.
Sequatchie court documents call for David Eugene Broome to be tried for rape of a 7-year-old child on Jan. 16-19, 2018. It is unclear what part the child, who will be almost twice as old as she was at the time of the alleged incident, will play in the trial.
Court documents reveal little about the girl except that she said she was abused, and other information is likewise scarce. In 2011, the year her great grandmother died, the official obituary listed the little girl among the survivors. And in 2012, three months before she allegedly was raped, a newspaper story about her school included her among the first graders with perfect attendance.Also unclear is just how the alleged rape came to the attention of legal authorities.
A 2013 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation press release noted merely that “In April, the 12th judicial district attorney general requested the TBI investigate allegations that Broome had sexual contact” with the girl.
The results of that investigation, court records show, were presented by TBI special agent Billy Miller to Sequatchie grand jurors, who indicted Broome on one count of child rape on Sept. 23, 2013.Following Broome’s arrest and subsequent release on bond, there was a brief flurry of legal activity.
“Comes the defendant, by and through counsel, and moves the Court for an order requiring the state to reveal any agreement entered into between the district attorney’s office or any other law enforcement agency and any prosecution witness and/or co-defendant which could conceivably influence said witness’ testimony . . . ,” defense attorney Jerry Summers, representing the Sequatchie constable, demanded.
In another motion, Attorney Summers asked that the court order prosecutors to furnish him with all scientific test results, “includ(ing), but not limited to, autopsy, clothing, ballistic, fingerprint, drug, voice prints, blood, hair, firearms, flammable substances, polygraph and any other scientific reports performed by any local, state or federal law enforcement agency or laboratory.”
Court clerk records show no activity after that for almost a year, until Aug. 11, 2014 – less than six weeks before Sept. 26, 2014, the date originally set for Broome’s trial. At that time, attorney Summers filed a motion with Sequatchie County Court revealing that the child Broome had allegedly abused was a ward of the state of Georgia . Consequently, he told the court, employees and records of the Georgia Department of Family and Children’s Services must be produced because they could “produce documentation and testify favorably for the defendant.”
“Interviews with some of (the elementary student’s) surrogate caretakers have produced information that the child has extremely serious attachment and attention seeking difficulties . . . ,” according to the motion. “It is believed (the child) is currently in a therapeutic foster care setting somewhere in the state of Georgia . . . defendant moves that the court issue . . . to a judge of a court of record in the state of Georgia . . . to compel the attendance of the custodian of the Department of Family and Children’s Services as a witness.”
Circuit Court Judge Curtis Smith issued the requested order, and Broome’s scheduled 2014 trial never happened.