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Robert Lipscomb to face no charges due to statute of limitations

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- In nearly 700 pages, a case is made against Robert Lipscomb, but the file also shows why he won't be facing charges.

It all started when one man came forward claiming Lipscomb forced him to perform sexual acts as a teenager more than a decade ago.

Other victims soon followed with stories of their own from the 80s and 90s.

But timing became an issue.

One detective wrote last year the statute of limitations made him unsure of the case.

But the district attorney decided to launch an investigation.

"That law is very complex, and that's why this office took the time to go through each factual scenario and apply the statute of limitations for each of those cases," said District Attorney General Amy Weirich.

Lipscomb was looking at rape and sexual battery charges.

One child claimed Lipscomb had five boys in his bed one night, and inappropriately touched the victim's genitals.

Other cases accused him of paying boys for sex.

The details of each case could play into its statute.

For instance, children under 18 either need to have a rape case prosecuted by age 21 or within 8 years, whichever's sooner.

A timeframe that lapsed.

"The law changes and you know the statute of limitations that may have been in effect in 1990 is a different statute of limitations that might be in effect today," said Weirich.

Statutes periodically change with the most recent one being in 2014.

It takes away a statute of limitation for rape in Tennessee.

"That's a step in the right direction, but that would be for crimes going forward," said Weirich.

She said her office is often bound by the most recent laws but doesn't regret trying to make these six cases work.

"Not wasted time and effort," she said. "It's one of the jobs. We have to pursue the guilty and protect the innocent; that's what this office does every day."

WREG reached out to Lipscomb and his attorney but have not yet heard back.