Carter Co. parents want harsh sentence for infant's rapist
CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. - The parents of an infant raped by a Carter County man speak out. Mark Gwaltney pleaded guilty in for having sex with the baby after a video of it was on his iPad.
Court records show 52-year-old Gwaltney agreed to a plea deal for eight felonies, including aggravated rape of a child, for crimes committed in 2015. His sentencing is set for August 21. His parents want to see him put away for good.
It happened at Gwaltney's home at 232 Happy Valley Road, Johnson City a few days before Halloween. The infant's father, William McCool said he thought Gwaltney was a trusted friend.
"He's got kids, military police officer, would never suspect anything like this," McCool said.
The infant's mother, Bessie Cole, said she left her son with him for less than an hour while she ran an errand. The only time she said he babysat for them. When she returned to pick him up, she said her baby was acting strangely.
"Not acting right you know? Like something was wrong with him, somebody bothered him, hurt him," Cole said.
A few days later Cole's daughter found a video of Gwaltney involved in sexual acts with the baby on his iPad.
"It was just horrible," Bessie said. "Monster. He just looked like a monster in that video."
McCool said watching the videos, and there were several, was too painful to endure.
"I watched one of them, skipped to the other one," McCool said. "The second one, I just couldn't do it no more."
Assistant district attorney Matthew Roark said he's relieved the family doesn't have to relive the ordeal in the courtroom.
"This has been one of the most disturbing cases that I have ever dealt with," Roark said. "Glad that the family is getting justice."
He said the punishment for aggravated child rape ranges up to 60 years in prison.
The boy's parents want Gwaltney to get the harshest sentence possible.
"I want this guy put away for life," McCool said. "I don't want him to see daylight."