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Kent Booher, a lawyer from Harriman, was indicted in Loudon County on Monday on several sex charges.
Booher was indicted on three counts of aggravated statutory rape, one count of solicitation of a minor and one count of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.
“It’s a surprise to me,” Kingston attorney Chris Cawood said. “I know him. I always thought he was a good guy and it’s really shocking to hear that.”
Booher does criminal defense work in Roane County Criminal Court.
District Attorney General Russell Johnson said the charges don’t automatically mean his clients will have to get new lawyers.
“That will be up to the judge, but I would assume as long as his clients are OK with it, he’ll still be representing them,” Johnson said. “He’s just been charged right now.”
According to the indictment, Booher’s alleged crimes occurred between Dec. 1, 2012 and May 13, 2013.
“If he’s guilty, he stands to lose his license,” Cawood said.
The indictment lists a co-defendant in the case, Malina Nanette Akin of Lenior City, who faces one count of aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.
Booher, 58, bonded out of jail on Thursday.
“He did have a $29,000 bond and his attorney had the judge reduce it to $10,000,” Johnson said.
Attempts to reach Booher on Thursday were unsuccessful.
A message left at his law office was not returned. A call to his cellphone went unanswered, and a recording said his mailbox was full and could not accept messages.
The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, which oversees the conduct of attorneys, censured Booher last year.
According to the board, he violated the rules of professional conduct on diligence, communication, expediting litigation, bar admission and disciplinary matters.
“Mr. Booher failed to act with reasonable diligence in an estate matter, failed to maintain reasonable communication with his client and failed to expedite litigation,” the board said. “Furthermore, he misrepresented to disciplinary counsel that he had filed a draft accounting and proposed final order with the probate court.”