Shannon Dewayne TUCKER.jpg

FLORENCE — The trial is expected to begin today for a Florence man charged with numerous counts of sexually molesting a child younger than 12.

Shannon Dewayne Tucker was indicted on seven counts in 2018, according to court documents.

Authorities said an investigation by the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Office and One Place of the Shoals, the area's family justice center, determined the child was 9 when the sexual abuse began.

She was 12 when an August 2018 Lauderdale County grand jury issued the indictments.

The charges include four counts of first-degree sodomy, one count of sexual abuse of a child under 12, one count of sexual torture and one count of first-degree rape, according to the indictment.

Tucker remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Center under bail of $300,000.

Investigators said the child said she was initially afraid to tell anyone what was going on because he had threatened her.

Tucker is a family acquaintance.

Jury selection was Monday and opening statements are expected to begin today in Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Gil Self's courtroom on the fifth floor of the Lauderdale County Courthouse.

Lauderdale County Investigator James Distefano and a representative from the Cramer Children's Center are among those on the witness list for the case.

All of the charges are Class A felonies with the exception of sexual abuse of a child less than 12, which is a Class B felony.

A Class A felony is punishable by 10 years to life in prison and a Class B felony is punishable by 2-20 years in prison, according to the Code of Alabama.

Tucker also faces a felony charge of second-degree assault in a separate matter, which has been bound over to a grand jury, according to court records.

That stems from a May 11, 2018, incident in which he is accused of striking a paramedic in the head with a computer while being transported by ambulance, according to the records. He also is charged with striking the paramedic with his fist and grabbing him in choke hold.

A Class C felony is punishable by 1-10 years in prison.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski

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