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Former Mt. Juliet wrestling coach sentenced after emotional testimony from victim’s mother

Jacob Smith • Apr 17, 2018 at 4:40 PM

Wilson County criminal court Judge John Wootten sentenced Darin Plumlee, a former Mt. Juliet High School teacher and wrestling coach who pleaded guilty to child sex charges in February, to one year in prison, followed by 11 years of probation.

According to Assistant District Attorney Tom Swink, Plumlee also faces eight additional years in prison if he violates the terms of his probation. Plumlee also must register as a violent sex offender and will remain on the registry for life.

Plumlee pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Before he was sentenced, the victim’s mother took the stand to give a statement on how the incident affected her daughter.

“This monster was someone we knew, someone we trusted, an authority figure at [the victim’s] school,” the mother said. “He has turned my daughter’s world upside down and needs to feel some repercussions for his actions.”

Swink asked Wootten for the strictest sentence possible, eight years in prison. Defense attorney Frank Lannom pointed out Plumlee’s clean criminal record and asked for the minimum sentence of six years of probation. He claimed a lifetime on the sex offender registry as a violent offender was enough of a deterrent.

“I’ve taken all these factors into consideration,” said Wootten during the sentencing. “We know already he has a life sentence because of the rigorous requirements of the sex offender list.”

After his sentence was announced, Plumlee was immediately taken into custody to begin serving his prison term.

Plumlee turned himself in at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office in May. He was booked in at the Wilson County Jail and released after he posted $10,000 bail.

Wilson County sheriff’s detectives launched an investigation into Plumlee in April 2017 after a student made complaints about inappropriate behavior.

According to Jennifer Johnson, spokesperson for Wilson County Schools, a student called in a tip to the school April 13, 2017 and said it was believed Plumlee was having inappropriate relationships with some of his students and/or wrestlers. The human resources department and school resource officer were notified at the time. Plumlee resigned immediately. The school system notified the state, and his license was put on hold, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Plumlee was hired in 2000 to be a wrestling coach and teach at Lebanon High School. In June 2011, Plumlee resigned to work for another school system.

In July 2014, Plumlee was hired to be a special education teacher and assistant wrestling coach at Mt. Juliet High School.

Plumlee’s disciplinary record was clean, except for a written reprimand he received for driving 70 mph in a 55 mph zone in September 2010.

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