published Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Harriman lawyer charged with statutory rape

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A Harriman, Tenn., lawyer was indicted last week on three counts of statutory rape.

After the grand jury indictment, the Loudon County Sheriff's Office arrested Kent Lowery Booher, of 819 Trenton St., on Aug. 14. Booher, 58, also was charged with especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and solicitation of a minor.

Booher left jail on Aug. 15 after paying a bond of $29,000, and he is due in Loudon County Criminal Court for a status hearing on Oct. 11. The lawyer did not return a call to his office Thursday.

A woman was arrested along with Booher. The grand jury indicted Malina Nanette Akin, 36, on one count of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. She remained in the Loudon County Jail on Thursday afternoon in lieu of a $10,000 bond.

Sheriff Tim Guider said Akin was involved in Booher's activities, but he would not say how. He said the case is still under investigation and detectives still need to interview some witnesses.

According to the bill of indictment, Booher's sexual relationships with three underage girls began in December and ran through May 13.

Guider said the Lenoir City Police Department received a tip that Booher was having sex with girls. Police department officials then asked for help from the sheriff's office and from the 9th Judicial District's Drug Task Force.

They needed help from the task force because Booher lives in Roane County. That is out of the jurisdiction of the police department and sheriff's office, but it is within the task force's realm, which covers Loudon, Meigs, Morgan and Roane counties.

According to the state bar's website, Booher has been a licensed lawyer in Tennessee since 1985. Among other areas, he specializes in bankruptcy, criminal defense and juvenile law.

Contact staff writer Tyler Jett at 561-213-6708 or at tjett@timesfreepress.com.

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