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Pair charged with torture, murder of homeless woman now faces child rape charges

Sean Finnegan and Rebecca Dishman have been behind bars on the previous charges since August.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — A man and woman already facing multiple charges for killing and dismembering a woman now face child rape charges.

An Anderson County grand jury has indicted Sean Finnegan, 53, and Rebecca Dishman, 23, on two counts of aggravated rape and 18 counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor. The charges imply the child was 8 years old or younger.

The two are already in custody for the killing of 36-year-old Jennifer Gail Paxton.

Police found Paxton's partly dismembered body in August at an East Fairview Road home in Oak Ridge. They think she may have been killed around Christmas 2019.

Prosecutors are reviewing the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation file on the case and will be deciding later this summer whether the case merits seeking the death penalty, according to Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark.

Finnegan and Dishman were charged in August 2020 with kidnapping, torturing, raping, killing and dismembering Paxton.

According to police records obtained by 10News, Dishman and Finnegan lured Paxton to the home under the promise of giving her a place to stay.

She was held against her will, attacked with a baseball bat, tortured and raped before being strangled and left for dead, according to the report.

Records show the victim was chained to a bed and hit in the head with a baseball bat before the suspects engaged in sexual acts with her against her will and eventually strangled her.

Dishman and Finnegan went on to cut off parts of Paxton's body before putting it in a freezer, according to police records.

Records show Finnegan also tried to take the body out of the freezer and hide it under the bed while he attempted to clean the freezer of evidence.


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