A Jonesborough man will serve 30 years in prison after he pleaded guilty this week to raping a former girlfriend’s six-year-old daughter.
Josh Theall, 30, was originally charged with nine counts of rape of a child in the case, but in a plea agreement Tuesday between his attorney, Matt Bolton, and Assistant District Attorney General Erin McArdle, four counts were dismissed.
Theall entered a best interest plea, which means he didn’t admit guilt but agreed that prosecutors had sufficient evidence for a jury to find him guilty.
Washington County sheriff’s deputies responded to Theall’s Jonesborough residence after his then-girlfriend called 911 about a domestic violence incident between them.
Theall was gone by the time officers arrived, but they found several items destroyed at the home and learned about the child rape allegations from the girl’s mother.
Prosecutors said the investigation revealed the child had been raped at least eight times during between March 2001 and March 2009.
McArdle said the plea prevented the possibility of the child having to testify at a trial and ensured Theall will be jailed for an extensive amount of time.
Rape of a child is one of several crimes that require the defendant serve 100 percent of a prison sentence.
While in prison, Theall must receive an inpatient psychosexual assessment and any recommended treatment.
After his release from prison, Theall will be on the sexual offenders’ registry and under community supervision for the rest of his life.