Locust Fork man pleads guilty to sex abuse of children

Wade Andrew Underwood, Jr., 64, of Locust Fork, pled guilty to a 10-count indictment for sex crimes against children under the age of 12, Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey announced in a press release last week.

Underwood was indicted by a Blount County jury in January 2012, and pled guilty on Thursday to all counts against him including four counts of sodomy 1st, four counts of sex abuse of a child under the age of 12, and two counts of rape 1st.

He was sentenced to 20 years on each of the four sodomy charges, 20 years on each of the two rape counts, and 10 years on each of the four sex abuse counts, according to the press release.

The initial investigation began after a child reported that Underwood had engaged in inappropriate activity. In total, the investigation revealed a total of four victims, all under the age of 12 at the time the abuse began.

“I am very concerned about the damage, psychologically and physically, that he has done to these four victims,” Casey said. “This plea, given his age, will ensure that he does not have the opportunity to continue to prey upon innocent children ever again. Furthermore, the child victims will not have to endure the trauma and re-victimization that occurs by having to testify against him in a trial.”