DA: Tennessee man to spend 42 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 7-year-old

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A Knox County man will spend nearly half a century behind bars after being convicted of sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s child for years.

In November, Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen said James Menard, 38, was convicted of rape, aggravated sexual battery and distribution of unlawful materials to minors following a two-day trial.

Menard was sentenced in January to serve a 42-year sentence in prison.

Allen said Menard had sexually assaulted his girlfriend’s child when they lived in Montgomery Village from 2016 to 2018. Allen said the child was seven and eight years old at the time of the abuse and the crimes came to light after they told a teacher about the abuse.

The teacher alerted the Knoxville Police Department. Police said the child told them about three specific instances of abuse — saying Menard had showed her pornographic materials as a way to groom her for the crimes.

“One of the most important roles we have in this Office is to protect children from predators,” said DA Charme Allen. “Children in this community are safer because of this conviction.”