A former sheriff’s deputy in Tennessee who was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl over a period of nearly two years will avoid jail time after pleading guilty to a lesser charge.
Brian Beck, 47, was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated assault, according to Memphis Fox 13. Beck, who had worked on the force with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office since 2004, was initially charged with two counts of rape by force or coercion and two counts of sexual battery by an authority figure back in 2018.
Beck was accused of raping the unnamed teenager over a 20-month span beginning in 2016; he was 43 at the time.
According to court documents obtained by Law&Crime, the judge in the case suspended a four-year prison term in favor of probation. The State ordered Beck to have no contact with the victim or her family, be subject to random drug screenings, and serve 150 hours of community service. If Beck violates his probation, he faces the original sentence.
Beck also isn’t required to be part of the sex offender registry.
Photo: Shelby County Sheriff’s Office
“Considering all the facts, evidence, and circumstances, as well as all possible defenses that could be raised in trial, this settlement was made in the best interests of obtaining justice for the victim,” a spokesperson with the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office told Oxygen.com over email. “The defendant will have a felony on his record, and can no longer carry a gun or be in law enforcement.”
Beck was relieved from his duties without pay following the grand jury’s indictment in 2018.
Beck’s case faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a growing backlog of court cases, as previously reported by NBC affiliate Action 5 News.
“It’s five years,” the victim’s father told the Memphis outlet. “I mean, she needs closure.”
District Attorney Amy Weirich responded to claims that the parties involvedwere not granted their right to a fair and speedy trial, as afforded by the Sixth Amendment of the constitution.
“There’s a whole bunch of factors that go into getting any case ready for trial and in a posture of getting that trial off the ground,” Weirich generalized.
Still, families and advocates continued to voice their frustration, including the father of Beck’s victim, who wished to remain anonymous.
“I mean, there are damages, you know, major damages and unhappiness,” he said. “She just needs some closure. She just needs to see movement of the ball, that’s what she needs to see.”
The District Attorney’s Office said the recent plea deal would spare the victim from having to testify during the trial, according to CBS affiliate WREG 3.
For the original charges, Beck faced 30 years in prison for each of the two rape charges and 15 years for each sexual battery charge, per Tennessee law, for a total of 90 years behind bars. The legal age of consent in the state is 18 years old.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and Beck’s legal representative did not immediately respond to requests from Oxygen.com.