Man faces sex charges

Victim was about 13 when crimes allegedly began
Jul. 12, 2013 @ 11:41 PM

A 61-year-old man is in the Sevier County Jail facing charges of rape, sexual battery and sexual battery by an authority figure based on a set of incidents that allegedly happened over the past year.

Steve Ronnie Lay, 61, of 1509 Nichoa Blvd. in Sevierville, is charged with rape, six counts of sexual battery and three counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. He was being held Thursday at the Sevier County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

According to sealed presentments released at the time of his arrest, Lay’s alleged victim in the rape and six counts of sexual battery was about 13 when the crimes began. The presentments for sexual battery by an authority figure do not identify the alleged victim beyond stating the victim was between 13 and 18 years old.

The accuser’s identity is not disclosed in the document and The Mountain Press does not generally identify alleged victims of sex crimes.

The alleged incidents happened between June 2012 and February of this year, according to the presentments.

The Sevier County Grand Jury returned the presentments in its latest session, which took place this week.

The grand jury is a panel of randomly selected county residents who meet in private to review criminal allegations to determine whether there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed. It does not determine guilt or innocence; it decides if a case should proceed to trial.

The panel returns presentments when allegations are presented directly to it before the suspect is charged. Sealed presentments are kept confidential until the defendant is arrested.