By Jared Felkins
A Mt. Juliet man pleaded guilty Monday to felony soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor in a case that took seven years to reach a conclusion.
Dennis Lee Arnold, 54, pleaded guilty to three counts of soliciting sexual exploitation of a minor in Wilson County criminal court a day before he was scheduled to stand trial on 18 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor by electronic means and simple assault.
Judge Brody Kane sentenced Arnold to serve two years on each of the three counts included in a plea deal to run consecutive to each other for a total six-year prison sentence. The six-year sentence will run consecutive to a 27-year sentence Arnold received in Davidson County.
Arnold was arrested in August 2011, originally charged with two counts of solicitation of a minor and assault. He was held in the Wilson County Jail on $252,500 bond until February 2015.
In 2011, Wilson County sheriff’s detectives investigated the case, and the investigation revealed Arnold committed crimes against the same victim, an adopted family member, in Davidson County where the family lived when she was younger, according to Assistant District Attorney Tom Swink. He said the family later moved to Wilson County.
Swink said Arnold was convicted in Nashville in July 2013 of two counts of felony aggravated sexual battery and one count of solicitation and sentenced to 27 years in prison, which is why it took seven years to go to trial in Wilson County.
“He was convicted in Davidson County and had a 27-year sentence, so there was no prejudice to the defendant by the delay,” Swink said. “His sentence was upheld on appeal.”
In the Wilson County case, Swink said Arnold would intentionally expose himself in front of the family member and her friend.
“In our case, both victims would testify about him exposing himself to them,” Swink said. “Detective [B.J.] Stafford interviewed the defendant back in 2011, and the defendant made admissions corroborating victims’ disclosures.”