U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Tennessee
(615) 736-5151
September 17, 2014

American from Philippines Sentenced for Abusive Sexual Contact of a Minor

Rennie W. Wells, 74, most recently living in the Philippines, was sentenced on September 15, 2014, by United States District Judge Aleta Trauger, to 78 months in prison for abusive sexual contact with a minor, announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. The prison sentence will be followed by 15 years of supervised release. Wells had previously pleaded guilty to the offense on April 10, 2014.

Wells’ conviction and sentencing came after an investigation that began in September 2005, after Wells was observed fondling a four year old girl while attending a cookout on the Fort Campbell Army Base. Wells and his wife, who had been doing missionary work for a church in the Philippines, were home in the United States visiting friends and family.

Shortly after the cookout, Wells and his wife returned to the Philippines and continued their missionary work. Several years later, after learning of allegations of child abuse, Wells’ wife urged him to return to the United States to turn himself into authorities. In August 2013, Wells returned to the U.S. and surrendered to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and admitted that he had engaged in abusive sexual contact in 2005 with the child at the Fort Campbell Army Base, as well as two other minor girls in another state. Since the cookout in September 2005, several other individuals have disclosed having been victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by Wells.

This matter was investigated by the FBI and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Carran Daughtrey.

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