3 Charged In Rhea County In Child Sexual Assault, Child Endangerment Cases

  • Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Rhea County Grand Jury returned indictments on two separate cases presented to them by Special Victims Investigator Rocky Potter during the Monday term.

Brandon Mitchell Henderson, 36, of Dayton, was charged with three counts of rape of a child and three counts of incest. 12th Judicial District Court Judge Justin Angel set a bond of $3 million on the charges. Henderson faces an arraignment Friday in front of Judge Angel.

Det. Potter said that he was contacted by the Tennessee Department of Children Services Child Abuse Hotline on the allegations back in June. He began the investigation at that time. He said the child was brought to the Rhea County Children’s Advocacy Center which in Rhea County is known as Landon’s Place after Landon Robbins, who was a five-year-old child who was murdered in 2013 by his parents.

During the forensic interview, Potter said that the child gave great disclosure of details of the incidents of being allegedly sexually assaulted by Henderson. Det. Potter also interviewed Henderson and other family members to make sure the timeline was correct on the incident.

Also indicted by the Rhea County Grand Jury were Clara Marie Dominguez and Deonte Clayton Austin. Both were indicted on charges of child endangerment, reckless endangerment and aggravated child endangerment.

Det. Potter said that Rhea County Narcotics unit of Charlie Jenkins, Cody Massey, and Jessie Wilkey did a traffic stop in the driveway of a residence. Officers noticed Austin toss a bag of white powder substance in the back of a car where a four-month-old child was in the vehicle.

Potter said that he charged them for aggravated child abuse or neglect under Haley’s Law. Haley’s law makes it a Class A Felony to contribute to the abuse of a child who is under the age of nine in a way that leads to injury of a child.

Det. Potter said that hair samples of the child were sent off and seven different substances were found in it including methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl. There were also other several other controlled substances found as well.

Austin has a record in Rhea County of possession of Methamphetamine of five grams or more in a drug free zone, possession of schedule II narcotics, possession of oxycodone and conspiracy to possess with intent to manufacture sell or deliver. Austin also has an extensive record in Hamilton County with numerous arrests for methamphetamines and other dangerous narcotics in Hamilton County. He was also charged for felon in possession of a firearm, burglary and aggravated assault.

Austin is being held on $625,000 bond, while the bond on Ms. Dominquez was set at $505,000. Both will appear in front of Judge Angel, who set the bonds, on Friday.

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