A C Wharton III, the oldest son of Shelby County mayor A C Wharton, was arrested Tuesday in Knoxville. He was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl he met in a chat room on the Internet. Wharton III is being held on a $50,000 bond.
Wharton is 34, but he was reported to have presented himself as a 20-year-old. The girl apparently told one of her girlfriends, who reported the matter to school authorities.
Mayor Wharton issued a statement to the media: "I learned early this morning that my son, A C Wharton III, was arrested in Knoxville on charges of statutory rape. I do not have any further confirmed details about the charges at this point.
My family and I have strong faith in the justice system, and we trust the system to work fairly in this case as in any other. We hope that the media and the public will respect that this is a family matter."