A McMinnville man faces two rape charges for sexual abuse prosecutors say started when the female victim was just 13 years old.
Edward Ladet III, 41, has been indicted by the Warren County grand jury for two counts of rape, one count of sexual battery by an authority figure, and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child, a new statute that went into effect in 2016.
Ladet remains behind bars at Warren County Jail awaiting his next court appearance, which has been set for June 6.
According to the indictments against Ladet, the abuse took place between May 15 and Nov. 15 of 2016. According to the date of birth of the alleged victim, she would have been 13 when the abuse started and turned 14 before it ended.
On the two most serious charges of rape, the indictment says, “the sexual penetration was accomplished without the consent of (the victim) and Edward Ladet III knew or had reason to know at the time of the penetration that (the victim) did not consent, constituting the offense of rape.”
The alleged victim did not come forward initially. It took more than a year before she made the accusations.
“It went to the grand jury and there were indictments a month or two after she came forward,” said assistant district attorney Tom Miner. “About the time the abuse was reported, Mr. Ladet went to Arkansas. He had to be extradited and brought back here.”
Because Ladet was in another state, it took 57 days from the time he was indicted to the time he was booked at Warren County Jail on April 29. Ladet has family members who live in Arkansas. Miner said Ladet has not admitted guilt.
Rape is a Class B felony, punishable by eight to 12 years in prison. The other two charges are Class C felonies, which have a sentencing range of three to six years, according to Tennessee Code.
Miner says he believes it’s the first time a local resident has been charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child, a new statute.