Guthrie was a friend of the boy’s mother, Susan Smith, who had asked Guthrie to homeschool her two sons. Guthrie’s sexual abuse of Joseph was first reported to child protective services in July 2002 and investigated. Smith was suspected of neglecting Joseph and his brother, who were removed from her home November 1 and placed in foster homes. Joseph ran away from his foster home on December 1 to go on the run with Guthrie, who was married.
Guthrie was charged with sexual battery by an authority figure and statutory rape.
Date: December 29, 2002
Location: Lebanon, Tennessee
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