Soldier Fights Sex Charge And Wins - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Soldier Fights Sex Charge And Wins

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by Nick Beres

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - It's been a long, painful fall for Army Specialist Christopher Talley. These days he's unemployed and lucky to have shelter from rain, much less any food to eat.

"I've lost everything," said Talley. 

But, now he's on the way back.

Two years ago Talley said he was a rising star in the military, deployed in Afghanistan as an intelligence specialist trained to help interrogate prisoners. He was only 21 years old and sometimes lonely so he turned to MySpace.

One day out of the blue Talley said he received a message from who he thought was a young woman. She reached out to him sending attractive photos of herself and they began an relationship that continued once Talley returned stateside. Talley had no idea she was only 13 years old.

"She has virtually ruined this man's life," said Carrie Gasaway, Talley's attorney.

Gasaway said the girl told Talley she was 18, in college and working as a manager at Victoria's Secret. Talley admitted to have sexual contact with the girl, but not intercourse. After her stepfather reported it to police he was arrested and charged with statutory rape.

"As a result of the charges he was chaptered out of the military," said Gasaway.

Talley's military career was over even before the trial. Without a job or money, he was homeless for several months. His first lawyer told him to plead guilty, but Gasaway took the case to court and won.

"He wasn't trolling the internet for some underage girl," said Gasaway. 

She said the jury was convinced that the girl had deliberately misled Talley and a reasonable person would have been fooled. Talley was found not guilty of statuatory rape, even though he admitted to some sexual contact with the young girl.

Talley said he's done with the military, but hopes now to take his intelligence talents to the private sector. And he's learned a valuable lesson when dealing with anyone online and what they tell you.

"Trust, but verify," said Talley. "Trust, but verify."

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