Hendersonville police make arrest in 1987 child rape case - WSMV Channel 4

Hendersonville police make arrest in 1987 child rape case

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Charles Settle Charles Settle
Hendersonville Police Sgt. Jim Vaughn, right, and District Attorney Ray Whitley address the arrest of Charles Settle in connection with a 1987 rape of an 8-year-old girl. Hendersonville Police Sgt. Jim Vaughn, right, and District Attorney Ray Whitley address the arrest of Charles Settle in connection with a 1987 rape of an 8-year-old girl.
HENDERSONVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A suspect has been charged nearly 26 years to the day after a young girl in Hendersonville was the victim of a horrendous crime.

Charles Scott Settle, 45, faces a charge of aggravated rape in the assault of an 8-year-old girl on Aug. 25, 1987.

"We were able to track down multiple people and took their prints and submitted them to the TBI lab," said Hendersonville police Det. Jim Vaughn.

But those results originally produced no hard evidence to the person who raped the young girl on Lake Side Park Drive, so the case went cold.

Then, in January, the Hendersonville police chief asked Vaughn to take another look at this old case.

"We still had the original evidence that was stored from 1987. We just resubmitted that evidence to the TBI lab," Vaughn said.

This time, they allegedly got a match in Settle.

Vaughn said Settle met the young girl while she was out for a bike ride with a friend and allegedly lured the girl into an area concealed by brush where he raped her. At the time, he was 19 years old.

"He lured her there by asking her to go see some bunnies," Vaughn said.

The little girl who was raped is now 34 years old, and Vaughn said despite the time that has passed, the wounds of what happened are still painful.

"It never goes away. As a matter a fact, she was able to recall quite vividly, so it will continue to be traumatic for her," Vaughn said.

Investigators said, at the time of the assault, Settle was suspect, but they just never had any hard evidence to link him to the rape.

Advancements in DNA testing has now changed that, and they say this arrest sends a strong message to other criminals.

Settle is currently in the Wilson County Jail, serving time for an unrelated crime.

Bond for Settle in Sumner County is set at $250,000.

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