A 46-year-old Chattanooga businessman will begin serving a six-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to having sex with a teenager.
Gregory B. Austin will serve his time while he awaits charges in a similar, but separate Georgia case.
On Monday, Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole sentenced Austin to a two-year sentence on two charges of aggravated statutory rape. Austin will begin serving six months in jail today, with his remaining sentence served on probation.
Austin pleaded guilty earlier this year to the two rape counts that stemmed from an April 2010 incident in which police said he had sex with a 14-year-old girl at an East Ridge hotel.
Austin's attorneys, Lee Davis and Bryan Hoss, declined to comment following Monday's sentencing hearing.
While Austin was awaiting a trial on the Hamilton County charges, police in Catoosa County, Ga., arrested him on charges he solicited a girl under 18 to perform sex with him, then met her at a Fort Oglethorpe motel.
The same police report stated he had sex with a 17-year-old girl at the hotel while a 13-year-old girl watched. He faces a charge of pandering in that case.
Following the Georgia indictment, Hoss told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that the Catoosa grand jury refused to indict Austin on the most serious allegations.
Catoosa County Magistrate Judge Vic Wells revoked Austin's bond on the pandering charge shortly after he was released, citing the Hamilton County case. Austin served 46 days in the Georgia jail.
Davis asked Poole if he would credit the Georgia time toward the six months Austin faced in Tennessee. Poole said he would consider it but did not rule Monday.
Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6347.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...