A former Chattanooga tech company president won't face jail time in his second case where he is convicted of paying to have sex with an underage girl.
Greg Austin was sentenced to five years probation for charges that he paid a girl to bring a 17-year-old girl to a Fort Oglethorpe motel in October 2010 where he had sex with her in front of a 13-year-old girl.
The latest sentence on Friday came six months after Hamilton County Judge Don Poole sentenced Austin to six months in jail after he pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated statutory rape. Authorities said the charges were for Austin paying two East Ridge Middle School girls to have sex with him at a local hotel.
Austin is now out of jail and he won't have to move out of state to report to probation in Georgia because the 46-year-old man from Ooltewah has been allowed to report in Hamilton County.
Austin's attorney, Bryan Hoss, said the former CTC Technologies president has been in sex offender treatment on a weekly basis and he isn't allowed to be around children, except his own three daughters.
But the mother of one of the girl's in Austin's first sex conviction said she is upset that he is a free man in such a short time. She said her daughter who is 16 now is still in therapy.
When Austin met her daughter in 2010, he told her he was an officer and showed the 14-year-old girl his badge. So when the mother said she found inappropriate text message on her daughter's phone from Austin she complained to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office internal affairs division.
Later authorities said Austin wasn't a sworn officer and had been given an honorary badge by former sheriff Billy Long, who was known for making his friends special deputies before he resigned under federal extortion charges.
In Austin's case in Catoosa County, Ga., he was originally charged with child molestation, pandering and enticing a child for indecent exposure. The police said the child molestation charge was because a 13-year-old girl watched Austin have sex with a 17-year-old.
When the case was presented to the grand jury, Austin was only indicted on the pandering charge.
"There was not enough credible evidence for the grand jury," Hoss said.
When Austin pleaded guilty he could have been sentenced on a range from five to 20 years, but the courts gave him the lightest sentence, Hoss said. Lookout Mountain Assistant District Attorney Chris Arnt prosecuted the case, but didn't return calls seeking comment.
Contact staff writer Joy Lukachick at email@example.com or 423-757-6659.
Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...