Athens man charged with sexual abuse of child, rape

Jan. 5—A 20-year-old Athens man is accused of sexually abusing a child less than 12 years of age and first-degree rape following an investigation of an incident that occurred on Sunday, the Limestone Sheriff's Office said.

Limestone County deputies responded to a call involving a possible sexual abuse of a child in the 16000 block of Blackburn Road, west of Athens, and found probable cause to charge Anthony Coy Rose of the offenses.

Sgt. Danny Craig and deputies Justin Smith and Hayden Pierce learned that the alleged offender had left on foot. The victim was transported to Athens-Limestone Hospital.

Deputies located the alleged offender a short distance away, walking down Blackburn Road. Investigator Steven Ferguson interviewed those in the home and Rose.

Rose is held in Limestone County Jail on $100,000 bail on the abuse charge. No bail has been set on the rape charge.

This investigation is ongoing, and more charges could be possible, Limestone Sheriff Joshua McLaughlin said.

mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.