Child Rapist Back Behind Bars After Babysitting Boy

(Tipton County)- A convicted sex offender is back behind bars for violating his probation. There’s also an accusation that he raped another child.

Back off Meade Lake Road near Atoka sits an isolated home. It’s owned by Michael Rhodes, 34, a convicted sex offender.

He moved back to Tennessee two years ago after he got out of prison for raping a child in Connecticut.

“He was gone for 11 years. He had a 16 year sentence,” neighbor Mitchell Lowe said.

He’s a notorious member of this small community.

“Everybody’s got kids and everybody and everybody knew before he got here,” he said.

Since his release he’s been on probation, but nearly two weeks ago Tipton County authorities say he violated it.

A five-year old boy told them Rhodes raped him.

“That is very hard to hear. That is just disgusting,” neighbor, Bruce Livingston, said.

Investigators say they came to Rhodes home at 6 a.m. He didn’t come to the door, but they knew he was inside because of a GPS device on his ankle monitoring bracelet.

Once deputies negotiated with Rhodes to let them inside, deputies said they found a child’s clothing, a violation of Rhodes’ probation.
Rhodes’ also admitted to babysitting the 5 year old several times.

Neighbors say they were always on edge.

“When I had my grand-kid here and he always came down,” Lowe said.” I told him not to come down and he stopped.”

Lowe said he often saw children at Rhodes’ home.

“They had a birthday party up there a month ago. They had kids all over the place,” he said.

Families with children in the neighborhood seemed relieved that for now Rhodes is locked up without bond.

“Thank goodness I know it eases his fears,” he said about his 7-year-old son. “All the kids know about it.’

Rhodes is charged with two county of violation of the Sex Offender Registry Act. So far he has not been charged with rape. That investigation is still ongoing. His court date is set for April 19th at 9.a.m.

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