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Police say girl was fondled after Kingsport Chamber dinner

Matthew Lane • Mar 10, 2020 at 6:28 PM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Police Department is investigating an alleged incident in which a 16-year-old girl was forcibly fondled by an adult man at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce annual dinner last month.

According to a KPD press release, officers spoke with the girl and her father following the incident, and they said that around midnight on Feb. 7, when the girl was putting away chairs, an unknown man approached her from behind, reached over her with both hands, grabbed her breasts and walked away.

The girl was a contract employee hired to work during the dinner, which took place at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center. At the time of the alleged incident, Kingsport police report only a small number of guests remained in the convention center area.

The incident was witnessed by at least two other people, one of whom spoke to the girl as he passed by and apologized to her on behalf of the suspect, Kingsport police report.

The suspect was described as a white male adult, possibly in his 50s, approximately 5-foot-5 and weighing roughly 175 pounds, with a thin build and gray hair. He was wearing a dark suit with a white shirt but no tie.

Detectives with the Kingsport Police Department have been actively investigating this incident since it was first reported in an attempt to positively identify the alleged suspect.

Due to the personal nature of the alleged offense and the obvious involvement of a minor-aged victim, this investigation has been kept completely confidential up until this point. However, the victim and her family have now agreed to enlist assistance from the public in confirming this man’s identity and identifying any potential additional witnesses.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident and/or potentially be able to identify the described suspect is asked to contact detectives at (423) 229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at (423) 246-9111.

Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at this link.

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