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Affidavit: Madison County man admits to asking Jackson boy for sex

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A Madison County man remains in jail on bond after being arraigned Thursday morning on charges that he asked a 15-year-old boy for sex. An affidavit of complaint stated the man admitted to police that he committed the crime.

Dana Lynn Gantt, 24, of Beech Bluff, was arraigned, via video link, around 8:10 a.m. Tuesday in Jackson City Court. Gantt, who is being held on a $40,000 bond, is charged with solicitation of a minor.

According to Tennessee Code Annotated 39-13-528 (a) (3), “It is an offense for a person 18 years of age or older, by means of oral, written or electronic communication, electronic mail or Internet services, directly or through another, to intentionally command, request, hire, persuade, invite or attempt to induce a person whom the person making the solicitation knows, or should know, is less than 18 years of age, or solicits a law enforcement officer posing as a minor, and whom the person making the solicitation reasonably believes to be less than 18 years of age, to engage in conduct that, if completed, would constitute a violation by the soliciting adult” of the following offense: rape (which is a Class B felony).

The affidavit stated that on Dec. 17, Gantt solicited, by way of text messages, a 15-year-old boy for sex. The messages were forensically taken from the boy’s phone and examined by an investigator from the Jackson Police Department.

It was determined that Gantt sent the boy text messages, asking him to engage in sexual acts, which included acts of penetration, the affidavit stated. The boy explicitly refused to submit to Gantt’s requests during the conversation.

The affidavit stated that Gantt continued to ask the boy, even after the boy refused.

A Jackson mother reported the incident to Jackson police that same day, according to a news release from JPD.

After conducting an investigation and gathering forensic evidence, JPD investigators went to Gantt’s home and took him into custody around 10 a.m. Monday. He was taken to Madison County Jail, where he remained Thursday.

On Monday, after Gantt's arrest, a JPD investigator interviewed Gantt, who admitted to sending the text messages to the minor, according to the affidavit.

During his arraignment, Gantt said he has lived in the Beech Bluff area all of his life and that he has family in the area.

Gantt told Jackson City Court Judge Blake Anderson that he was not on probation or parole and that he has not other cases pending. Gantt also said he is currently not employed.

When Anderson asked him if he had a drug or alcohol problem, Gantt replied, “not anymore.” Gantt also said he did not have any mental health issues.

Gantt was ordered to not have contact with the victim as condition of his bond.

If Gantt does not make bond, his next court date will be on Jan. 2 at 9:30 a.m.

Jackson police is asking that anyone with information about adults soliciting minors for sex contact the Jackson Police Department's Special Investigations Bureau at 731-425-8611 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 731-424-8477 (TIPS). You can also submit a cyber tip at jmcrimestoppers.org and click on “web tips”.

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