LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. — A Lawrence County, Tenn., man, accused of raping a boy 11 years ago, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, authorities said Friday.
Robert Stephen "Bird" Rosson, 40, 41 Pruitt Road, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual battery, courthouse officials said. Deputies said Rosson was arrested in April and charged with two counts of rape of a child.
In entering the plea, Rosson was sentenced to 12 years on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently, officials said.
Investigator Lt. Nathan Neese, of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, said because Rosson's plea involves child sexual abuse, under Tennessee law, he must serve 100 percent of his sentence.
Neese said Rosson will be required to register on the Sex Offender Registry for life.
During the plea hearing Friday, Rosson admitted to his guilt. Reports indicate the boy, who now is 22 years old, reported the rape April 17.
Neese said the victim said he wanted to make sure what happened to him didn't happen to anyone else.
"The victim showed tremendous courage and was able to reveal a predator living amongst our community," Neese said.
Investigators said according to the man, the rapes occurred during the course of a year.
"We know of two incidents when it (reportedly) happened and that's why he was charged with two counts," Neese said.
Authorities said Rosson was a family friend and would frequently visit the boy's home.
Neese said the investigation indicates more children may have been victimized but their identities are unknown.
"Now that he has been sentence, hopefully, the other victims will feel comfortable enough to come forward and talk with us," Neese said.
Rosson has been in jail since his arrest in April. He is being held in the Lawrence County Jail until his transfer to a Tennessee Department of Corrections Facility.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or tom.smith@TimesDaily.com.