• Tue. May 17th, 2022

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Former Tenn. deputy accused of raping 14-year-old strikes deal to avoid prison, sex offender status

A former sheriff’s deputy in Tennessee accused of raping a 14-year-old girl struck a plea deal with prosecutors last week that keeps him out of prison and from having to register as a sex offender, his lawyer confirmed Monday.

Brian O. Beck, 47, was indicted by a grand jury in June 2018 on charges of aggravated assault, rape and sexual battery by an authority figure, according to court documents from Shelby County. He reached a deal with prosecutors on Feb. 28 in which he pleaded guilty to felony aggravated assault.

Court records show the terms of his sentence include supervised probation for three years and a suspension of a four-year prison sentence, unless he violates the terms of his probation, his lawyer, Leslie Ballin said Monday.

Ballin confirmed Beck was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl multiple times and his guilty plea means he does not have to register as a sex offender.

County court records show Judge Lee Coffee oversaw the case. Coffee could not be reached Monday for comment.

Ballin said his client has professed his innocence from the onset. He said Beck agreed to plead guilty to a lesser felony than rape because he didn’t want to leave his fate up to a jury.

“This was a best-interest plea,” Ballin said. “He decided that he didn’t want to take a chance to have 12 people decide the case. … Mr. Beck maintained his innocence all the way through, even last Monday when the judge accepted his guilty plea.”

A representative with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that Beck was hired by the agency in October 2004 and was terminated in August 2018.

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said Monday in a statement: “Given the totality of evidence, we ethically could not proceed to trial on the indicted offenses. The decision was made in consultation with the victim.”

Some of the terms of Beck’s plea agreement, Ballin said, is he can’t get arrested and he must not have contact with the teen girl.

Fox affiliate WHBQ in Memphis reported Beck can no longer carry a gun or be a member of law enforcement, according to prosecutors.