Michael Martin was convicted of molesting a 6-year-old girl in 1989.
Police arrested him again in Nashville 28 years later. This time for possessing what police call "some of the worst and most despicable (child pornography) images known."
"He should have been sent away for the rest of his life," said Chad Butler, an attorney and former child sex abuse prosecutor.
Butler knew the case like the back of his hand.
He handled the indictment, so when he learned Martin ended up pleading to a lesser charge, receiving just 10 years in jail with parole eligibility after six, this was his reaction.
"There was an opportunity to get this violent sex offender off the streets permanently, forever, and it's disappointing that wasn't done," said Butler.
Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk says his office considers crimes against children to be the most important cases they prosecute and his team has never been stronger -- no matter what his former employee has to say.
"The other option was to take this case to trial where a jury could potentially find him not guilty, and he would walk away," The DA's Office told News4.
"It was an extremely strong case," Butler said in response. "It was a confession case."
Butler resigned from the DA's Office shortly after he raised questions about how Metro Schools reported sexual abuse.
Now, he's concerned about what he calls another dangerous pattern.
"The surrounding counties, like Wilson, Williamson [and] Rutherford County, even the U.S. Attorney's Office, are prosecuting these cases to the fullest extent and are being very aggressive as they should be with these types of crimes," explains Bulter. "I worry that sex offenders are going to start coming to Davidson County when they hear about these sentences that are arguably very lenient."
District Attorney Glenn Funk told News4 every case is different and stands by his office's decision to allow Martin to take a plea deal.
As for Martin, we've reached out to his attorney, who has not yet called us back.
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