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Press Release

Chattanooga Man Indicted For Sexual Exploitation Of A Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – On June 16, 2021, a federal grand jury in Knoxville returned a one count indictment against Mark Alan Deakins, 61, of Chattanooga, for the sexual exploitation of a child.  Deakins appeared in court June 22, 2021, before the Honorable U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Lee and entered a plea of not guilty to the charge in the indictment.  He was detained pending trial, which has been set for August 24, 2021 before the Honorable U.S. District Judge Charles E. Atchley, Jr.

The indictment alleges that Deakins sexually exploited a child under the age of 12 from June 2018 through September 2018, and that he has prior convictions for the sexual abuse of children.

If convicted, Deakins faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 35 years up to a maximum term of life in prison.

If you have information regarding the pending prosecution, or you believe you or someone you know may have been victimized by the defendant, the FBI requests that you contact them at 423-265-3601 or report it at  Identified victims may be eligible for certain services and rights under federal and/or state law.              

This indictment is the result of an investigation by the Chattanooga Crimes Against Children Task Force, and included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, Homeland Security Investigations, Chattanooga Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, and Red Bank Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Neff represents the United States. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006, by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about PSC, please visit  For more information about internet safety education click on the link for “Publications & Resources.”

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.



Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated June 24, 2021

Project Safe Childhood