Clinton, Tennessee – June 2, 2023, Judge Ryan M. Spitzer sentenced Defendant Royce Scott Earley, age 45, to one hundred four (104) years in prison on two (2) counts of Rape of a Child, two (2) counts of Incest, and Aggravated Sexual Battery. Earley had been found guilty in a jury trial on or about February 16, 2023.
During the Sentencing Hearing, prosecutors argued for enhanced punishment and consecutive sentencing because of the severity of the convictions, the vulnerability of the minor child, and the Defendant’s lack of remorse and accountability for his actions.
The Judge found these crimes were especially egregious and sentenced Earley to forty (40) years on each count of Rape of a Child, twelve (12) years on the count of Aggravated Sexual Battery, and six (6) years on each count of incest. Judge Spitzer found that the victim of this case suffered mental anguish due to the abuse of the minor child by the Defendant, among other aggravating factors. Therefore, he ordered each count to run consecutively (one after the other) for an effective one hundred four (104) year sentence in prison and ordered the Defendant to be placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Sexual Offender Registry and Community Supervision for the rest of his life.
The case was investigated by the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Child Advocacy Center, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, and the Department of Children’s Services. Prosecutors Emily F. Abbott and Sarah W. Keith prosecuted this case on behalf of the State of the State of Tennessee. District Attorney General Dave Clark stated, “we try to manage a broken and overwhelmed criminal justice system every day. It is encouraging when things work like they should. On behalf of the people of our State, I am grateful to all those who helped achieve justice in this case; especially the young and courageous victim.’·