Convicted Rapist in Rutherford County Receives a 100-Year Sentence

Apr 13, 2023 at 10:00 pm by WGNS News

RCSO Mugshot of John David Cunningham


Rutherford County, TN - The hard work of Detective Marcy Gossett with the Smyrna Police Department landed a child rapist behind bars for the next 100-years. Sentencing for the convicted rapist took place earlier this week in a Rutherford County Courtroom. John David Cunningham, who was convicted on 7 Counts of Rape of a Child and 6 Counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery in a Rutherford County Courtroom, was sentenced on Wednesday before the Honorable Barry Tidwell.


Looking back to the start of the investigation, authorities realized the victim was a very close relative to Cunningham, making the case even harder for family members to digest. Cunningham, who is 34-years-old today, raped the young child who was only 6-years-of-age during several of the incidents. At that point, Cunningham would have been about 27.

The Department of Children Services first learned about the victim being sexually abused in July of 2019. Shortly thereafter, the Smyrna Police Department began their investigation, which eventually led to a criminal case. In 2020, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Around 8-months later in 2021, Cunningham filed a bill of particulars motion, asking for a written itemization of the claims he faced.

Over the following 2-years, 15 or more people were subpoenaed, eventually leading to a trial by jury. In the courtroom, jurors learned the first sexual encounter with the child occurred as early as 2012 and the last known incident took place in November of 2015.

In December of last year, Cunningham was found guilty on 7 Counts of Rape of a Child and 6 Counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery in Judge Tidwell's courtroom. His sentencing date was later set to take place on April 12, 2023, which was this week. As a result of the convictions, Cunningham was sentenced to 100-years in Prison.

Court Case: 75CC1-2020-CR-84128


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