Jail

A Carter County resident is facing multiple charges after allegedly drugging teenagers with methamphetamine and tramadol before initiating sexual contact.

Michael Benton Chilton, 28, Ellsinore, has been charged with fourth-degree child molestation, third-degree child molestation, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and two counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, all felonies, and second-degree sexual abuse and fourth-degree assault, both misdemeanors.  

He is held in Carter County Jail on $60,000 cash or corporate surety bond, according to court documents.

Carter County Deputy Richard Stephens reported on Aug. 29 he responded to a call from a Van Buren High School administrator regarding reports that multiple students at the school said they had been drugged by a man and subjected to sexual contact by him.

Children’s Division investigators had also reportedly been contacted by the school. A staff member at the school reportedly told Stephens the students had identified Chilton as their assailant, adding he had been routinely visiting and staying the night at a home in Fremont, about 10 miles west of Van Buren on U.S. 60 in western Carter County.

The teens were described as two females, age 14 and 15, and a 14-year-old male friend of the girls who stated he often visits the home.

Stephens said that in interviews with the teens, they alleged Chilton had given the boy muscle relaxers from a medicine cabinet at the home and followed him to a bedroom, and he awoke to find Chilton engaged in inappropriate contact with him. The boy added when he left the bedroom, Chilton followed him to a couch and attempted to continue the contact.

The teen also stated on another occasion Chilton was placing medication on bug bites on his back when he reached down the back of the boy’s pants.

Another teen alleged that Chilton had been staying at the home for about a month, and about two or three weeks before school started Chilton had told her to open her mouth, and when she did, he placed a crystal-like substance on her tongue.

She said she asked Chilton why he had put sea salt on her tongue, and he told her it was “dope.” The girl said she didn’t sleep for two days after the incident, and reported she had been given pills that made her sleep about six times, waking to see Chilton sitting on her bed smiling.

She told Stephens at other times she would awake to Chilton making sexual contact with her in her bed while clothed.

The third teen told Stephens that, when Chilton tried to touch her or the boy, they would sometimes hit him to get him to stop. She also reportedly said she witnessed the man putting a substance on the other girl’s tongue, and alleged that once Chilton had grabbed her in a sexual manner, then shoved her against a counter when she pulled away from him.

An adult living at the home told Stephens, after the children reported their allegations against Chilton, the adult checked a bottle of tramadol that had been prescribed as a muscle relaxer, to find it empty.  

In speaking with Stephens, Chilton reportedly denied any sexual contact with the teens and agreed to take a polygraph test, but later refused to.

Chilton is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 27 in Carter County before Associate 37th Circuit Judge Steven Lynxwiler.           

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