Former Fentress County Sheriff Charles "Chuckie" Cravens, 47, has been partially dismissed from a federal civil rights lawsuit after a $175,000 settlement.
According to court documents, a lawsuit alleging a false arrest and imprisonment by ex-sheriff Cravens and Fentress County has been settled.
The lawsuit filed April 12 states a woman was at the McDonald's in Jamestown on Oct. 4, 2016 when Cravens walked in. The woman, Linda Conatser, claims she recognized him because she lived across the street from a woman he used to visit frequently. When he recognized her, she alleges in the suit that he angrily ordered her to leave.
Conatser said she told Cravens she had every right to be in the McDonald's and she did not have to leave. In the lawsuit, she alleges Cravens moved physically towards her and pointed his finger and straw at her in an intimidating way while repeatedly ordering her to "leave now!"
At the time of the incident, the city of Jamestown and the Fentress County Sheriff's Department had an agreement for aid with arrests.
After Conatser didn't leave, Cravens told her to stay where she was while he went out and called for backup, the suit claims. At that point, Cravens and Jamestown Police Chief Ken Hancock allegedly arrested her. She states she was never read her Miranda rights and was never told what she was being arrested for or what crime she was being charged with.
The lawsuit details the time Conatser spent in the police cruiser, while not knowing what crime she was being detained for, and that she experienced a strip and cavity search.
According to the lawsuit, Conatser has never been arrested before. Hours later, her husband Danny arrived and she was released on bail. That's when she learned she was arrested for disorderly conduct.
When Danny was at the Justice Center trying to get his wife out of jail, Cravens allegedly pulled him aside and said "I will lock you up too," according to the lawsuit. In the complant, the couple said Craven had previously threatened them multiple times that he would arrest them even if he had to make something up to do it.
The settlement for $175,000 dismisses defendants Fentress County and Cravens from the case, according to attorney George Underwood. The litigation against the remaining defendants proceeds, according to the Conatsers' lawyer.
Last month, Cravens was sentenced to a little less than three years in a federal prison for giving special favors to female inmates in exchange for sex.
U.S District Judge Aleta Trauger imposed the 33-month sentence in U.S. District Court in Nashville on Aug. 23.
Cravens resigned on April 14, just three days after a state and federal investigation was launched looking into "allegations of impropriety." About a week later, he pleaded guilty to federal corruption and civil rights charges.
Investigators said he bribed three inmates to have sex with him and punched another inmate who was handcuffed.
According to allegations in the charging document, Cravens used his position as sheriff to solicit sex from, and have sex with, three female inmates at the Fentress County Jail in return for giving them benefits at the jail.
These extra benefits included the sheriff driving the inmates to visit relatives, the inmates being allowed outside the jail to smoke cigarettes, and the sheriff giving money to relatives of the inmates to deposit into their jail commissary accounts, the documents noted.
According to prosecutors, Cravens was also charged with kicking an inmate and putting him in a headlock while another officer handcuffed him. He also hit the inmate after he was cuffed, according to prosecutors.
After Cravens gets out of prison he'll face two years of supervised release.