Police: 63-Year-Old Man Makes Shrine For 9-Year-Old Girl
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – A 63-year-old Clarksville man has been arrested after police said he inappropriately touched a 9-year-old girl, and made a shrine dedicated to her inside his home.
Lenzo Grooms was arrested around 5:30 a.m. Friday at his home on Oak Street.
Clarksville Police received a tip that Grooms had created the shrine for the girl who had visited his home several times for photo shoots. Police said Grooms had operated a photography business called "HAVE BRUSH WILL TRAVEL," in which he offered a contract to take photos of neighborhood female children for $20.
A trusted family friend had brought the 9-year-old girl to his home several times to have photographs taken between October 2012 and January 2013.
The 9-year-old girl was given money and gifts in exchange for the pictures, and police said Grooms set up a bedroom for the girl to stay in.
Police said Grooms inappropriately touched the child, and rubbed baby lotion on her buttocks during one of the visits. When the child got home, her mother noticed a change in her mood and asked her what was wrong. The child told her mother what had happened, and she was no longer allowed to go to Grooms' home.
On February 2, Grooms showed up at a home where the child's family had previously lived, and was told he was not wanted on the property. Police said he returned to the home several days in a row, and at one point threatened the resident that "if she did not deliver certain items to the nine year old female he would end her life."
Grooms was booked into the Montgomery County jail, and charged with aggravated sexual battery, assault, and aggravated criminal trespass.
His bond was set at $106,000.
Lenzo's criminal history dates back to 1970 when he was arrested in Florida for robbery. He served three years of a 25 year sentence, and was arrested again in 1974 for burglary. A day after being sentenced to five years in prison, he escaped from custody.
He was not taken back into custody until 1979, and served three more years in prison.
In 1984, he was arrested again on second degree murder charges, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released in November 2002.