Shrine to 9-year-old girl found in Clarksville home of sex assault suspect

12:35 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
  • Courtesy: Clarksville Police Dept.
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The Leaf Chronicle

CLARKSVILLE, TENN. - Police have arrested a 63-year-old man after finding a shrine in his home dedicated to a 9-year-old girl.

On Feb. 2, Clarksville Police received a tip that a Lenzo Grooms, 63, had created the shrine dedicated to a girl who had visited him several times, according to a news release from police spokesman Officer Jim Knoll.

Police Detective Tina Slaven's investigation revealed that Grooms had a photography business, "Have Brush Will Travel," in which he offered to take photographs of neighborhood girls for $20.

Between October 2012 and January 2013, a 9-year-old girl had been taken to Grooms' 215 Oak St. house by a trusted family friend on several occasions to have photographs taken. The child had been given money and gifts for the pictures to be taken, Knoll said.

It was also discovered that Grooms had set up a bedroom for the child to stay in. During one visit, Grooms had entered the bedroom and inappropriately touched the child, and had rubbed baby lotion on the child's buttocks, the release said.

After the child returned home, her mother noticed a change in the child's mood and asked her questions. The child told her mother what had happened, and the child was no longer allowed to go with the family friend to the residence, Knoll said.

On Feb. 2, Grooms showed up at the residence where the child had previously lived, but the child had moved. He was told by the property owner that he was not wanted on the property. But that did not dissuade Grooms, who appeared at the residence several days in a row, Knoll said. He threatened the occupants of the residence, stating that if they did not deliver certain items to the child, he would kill the child.

Due to Grooms' previous criminal history, to include second-degree murder and robbery, the Tactical Unit was called to serve the warrants on Grooms at his residence around 5:30 a.m. Friday, Knoll said.

Grooms was booked into Montgomery County Jail and charged with aggravated sexual battery, assault and aggravated criminal trespass. Bond was set at $106,000.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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