Ex-soldier pleads guilty to raping two young girls
Williams sentenced to 25 years in state corrections department
• GANNETT TENNESSEE • August 25, 2009
A Clarksville man charged with raping two young girls and videotaping the crimes pleaded guilty Monday morning. He was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.
Cornelius O. Williams, 39, was charged with two counts of rape of a child, two counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of possession of child pornography.
Williams was being held in the Montgomery County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Williams was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army.
Williams appeared in a suit and tie in Judge Mike R. Jones' courtroom for a jury trial. The two girls and their family were present and ready for trial.
Before a jury pool could be brought in, Williams decided to plead guilty, said his defense attorney, Crystal Myers, assistant public defender.
Through the plea agreement reached by Myers and Assistant District Attorney Robert Nash, Williams pleaded guilty to rape of a child and was sentenced to 25 years with the Tennessee Department of Corrections. He will have to serve 100 percent of the sentence.
He also entered guilty pleas to two counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and was sentenced to eight years on each count. Williams pleaded guilty to an amended charge of aggravated sexual battery and was sentenced to eight years.
Williams will serve the exploitation convictions concurrently, or at the same time, as the 25-year sentence.
A sentencing hearing is set for Oct. 7, when Jones will determine if the eight years Williams agreed to for the aggravated sexual battery conviction will be served concurrently with the 25-year sentence.
The possession of child pornography charges were dismissed in settlement. Six other counts of child sex abuse were nollied by the state through the settlement.