Newport man charged with statutory rape out on bond

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A Newport man accused of raping a teenager is out on bond, according to the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office. 

Artie Michael Sturm, 40, is accused of 3 counts of statutory rape by an authority figure as well as 3 counts of aggravated statutory rape. He was arrested last Monday, but was released the same day on bond.  

Cocke County court documents state the victim was between the ages of 13 and 18 at the time of the alleged sexual penetration, and alleges Sturm did so “unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly” on or about the summer of 2016; then again on or about January 2018 to March 2018. 

The court documents also state Sturm was in “position of trust, or had supervisory or disciplinary power over (the victim)” at the time of the alleged incidents. 

Online databases indicate Sturm to be a pastor at Dayspring Baptist Church in Newport. 

Sturm was released on the bond amount of $150,000 on Monday, April 29. His next court appearance or status hearing for the charges brought against him is Monday, May 13 at 9 a.m. 

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