Sharp was found guilty of permitting the videotaping of a 14 year-old girl engaging in sexual activity with an adult male. The incident occurred inside a Department of Human Services van in March of 2005.
Evidence at trial revealed Charles Sharp was employed by the Tennessee Department of Human Services, and he was the driver of the van used to transport the teens and several others to their homes. Sharp had custodial control over the teens who were wards of the state when the crime occurred. Sharp, while driving the van, permitted the videotaping of one of the girls engaging in sexual activity with an adult male inside the van.
In March of 2006, a Shelby County Grand Jury indicted Charles Sharp, for one (1) count of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, four (4) counts of rape, one (1) count of sexual battery by an authority figure, and one (1) count of vandalism.
At the first trial in May of 2006, Sharp was acquitted of all charges except especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the charge of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, and the judge declared a mistrial as to that charge.
In April of 2008, Sharp was tried on one (1) count of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and found guilty as charged. The court sentenced Sharp to nine (9) years with no probation. The conviction and sentence were appealed by Sharp's attorney. On February 22, 2010, the Court of Criminal Appeals reversed the conviction and returned the case to Shelby County Criminal Court for a new trial.
Sharp was tried three (3) additional times on the charge of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. Two (2) of the trials (April 2011 and November 2011) ended in mistrials, when the juries could not reach unanimous verdicts. On November 1st, 2012, Sharp was tried and convicted as charged on one (1) count of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor.
Sharp is scheduled for sentencing on December 7th, 2012.
Especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor is a class "B" felony with a sentence range of eight (8) to thirty (30) years, with no possibility of parole.
Assistant district attorney Jennifer Nichols, chief prosecutor of the District Attorney General's Special Victim's Prosecution Unit and assistant district attorney Kirby May prosecuted the case in Division V of Shelby County Criminal Court. Judge James Lammey presided.