A Cottontown man who authorities say repeatedly raped a child from the time she was 10 years old until she was found to be impregnated by him at the age of 16 will spend the next 30 years in prison.
David Lawrence Cathey, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of rape of a child in Sumner County Criminal Court on Sept. 17. As part of his plea, 44 other charges – including 11 counts of child rape and 10 counts of statutory rape by an authority figure – were not prosecuted.
Cathey was charged April 30, 2019 after the 16-year-old victim was taken to an area hospital with stomach pains and was determined to be pregnant, according to Sumner County Assistant District Attorney Jenni Smith.
“Through this investigation it was determined that the defendant repeatedly raped the victim from when she was 10 years old beginning July 1, 2013 ending April 2019 right before she went to the hospital,” Smith said during a plea hearing before Criminal Court Judge Dee David Gay.
Smith said the victim’s baby has since been born and a paternity test showed that Cathey is the baby’s father.
Smith also said that she spoke at length with the victim and the victim’s mother. The two approved the resolution of the case and didn’t want to be in court for the hearing, Smith added.
Cathey appeared in court with his attorney, William Cather.
Rape of a child is a Class A felony with a sentencing range of 25 to 40 years in state prison.
“Your agreement is 30 years at 100 percent to serve in the Tennessee Department of Corrections,” said Judge Gay.
Gay reminded Cathey that when he is released at the age of 67, he’ll be on both community supervision as well as the sex offender registry for life. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim, directly or indirectly.