Prosecutor William McManus Admits Dropping Charges in Return for Sex
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Prosecutor Admits He Paid for Sex by Dropping Shoplifting, Methamphetamine Charges Against Criminal Defendant

A mugshot shows former prosecutor William McManus, Jr.

A Tennessee prosecutor on Tuesday pleaded guilty to throwing out criminal cases against a defendant in return for sex. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee announced that William E. McManus, Jr., 50, admitted to soliciting a bribe in December 2018.

The office which McManus worked for handles criminal prosecutions in Washington, Unicoi, Carter and Johnson Counties. Those counties are in extreme eastern Tennessee near Johnson City.

From a DOJ press release:

As part of the filed plea agreement, McManus admitted that, while acting in his capacity as an Assistant District Attorney for the First Judicial District, he dismissed and expunged shoplifting and possession of methamphetamine charges pending in the Sessions Court of Washington County, Tennessee, in exchange for a commercial sex act with someone with whom he had previously engaged in commercial sex acts. The maximum punishment for the offense is a term of imprisonment of up to ten years and a fine of up to $250,000.

A plea agreement on file in federal court contains a recitation of some of the relevant facts:

a) At all relevant times, the defendant was employed as an Assistant District Attorney for the First Judicial District and prosecuted criminal matters pending in Washington County, Tennessee.
b) At all relevant times, the District Attorney’s Office received in excess of $10,000 per year in assistance from the Federal government in the form of grants.
c) In or about December 2018, criminal charges were pending against J.J. in the Sessions Court for Washington County, Tennessee for shoplifting and possession of methamphetamine.
d) The defendant had previously engaged in commercial sex acts with J.J.
e) The defendant, acting corruptly, solicited a commercial sex act with J.J. in exchange for dismissal of the charges pending against J.J. in the Sessions Court of Washington County, Tennessee, rather than paying J.J. for sex as the defendant had done previously.
f) The dismissal of the charges against J.J. was a thing of value involving $5,000 or more.

Sentencing will occur Nov. 15.

Read the relevant case documents below.

[Image via the Washington County, Tenn. Sheriff’s Department]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University.  He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now a Senior Editor for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only.  You should not rely on it for legal advice.  Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.  This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.  Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.