KNOXVILLE, Tenn — A Knoxville man will go to prison for continually raping a young child.

This week, a jury convicted James Theodore Menard, 38, on charges of Rape of a Child, two counts of Aggravated Sexual Battery, and Distribution of Unlawful Material to Minors. 

Menard lived with the victim, who was 7 and 8 years old during the abuse, according to prosecutors.

The young victim eventually told a teacher about the abuse, which happened repeatedly over several years. The teacher notified law enforcement.

Prosecutors also said Menard showed the child pornography as a way to groom the victim.

“One of the most important roles we have in this Office is to protect children from predators,” said DA Charme Allen. “Children in this community are safer because of this conviction.”

Judge Steve Sword revoked Menard’s bond and set the case for sentencing on January 9.

Rape of a Child is a Class A felony that carries a punishment of twenty-five to forty years in prison without the possibility of parole. Aggravated Sexual Battery is a Class B felony, carrying a punishment between eight and twelve years.

At sentencing, prosecutors will seek an enhanced sentence due to the nature of the offense and Menard’s multiple prior convictions out of several states.