NASHVILLE (WATE) – The Gatlinburg detective who led the investigation on the Ooltewah High School basketball rape case is seeking damages.
Floyd Rodney Burns claims that District Attorney General Neal Pinkston harmed his reputation by publishing and sending press releases accusing the detective of perjury, according to the lawsuit. He is seeking $300,000.Related:Gatlinburg detective denies perjury allegations in Ooltewah rape investigation
The lawsuit refers to a press release sent on Februrary 17. Burns claims Gen. Pinkston called his testimony “perjurious.”
The detective testified in a preliminary hearing concerning the adult chaperones on a team trip to Gatlinburg. The adults face charges for not reporting child abuse. Investigators believe three team members sodomized another student with a pool cue.
However, during his testimony Burns stated that he believed the incident was not of rape because the students did not have sexual intent.
Soon after the hearing, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began to look at Burns’ actions after Pinkston accused the detective. Burns believe Pinkston’s claims increased media attention on the detective.
Burns’ attorney Bryan E. Delius stated soon after Pinkston’s perjury claim, “Apparently General Pinkston takes issue with Detective Burns’ characterization of evidence; however, General Pinkston should be concerned instead with the systemic failure of Hamilton County Schools to stop a history of bullying and hazing.”
The lawsuit states the detective is “devastated and humiliated.” It goes on to say he suffers from depression and anxiety. Burns claims the accusations have affected his ability to perform his work duties to the best of his abilities.