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Alleged Paris Beating Victim Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor Perjury, Stands by Original Report

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A Paris, Tenn. man who says he was beaten and robbed last year has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor perjury.

Joe Williams had been charged with a Class D felony of a false report of arson or robbery. Williams’ attorney, Sunny Eaton of Nashville, said her client still stands by his account and merely admitted to omitting details in his original report which he later told police.

Eaton said she is satisfied Paris police did a thorough job of searching for the alleged robbers who also allegedly scrawled a homosexual epithet on Williams’ forehead.

Williams has received six months of unsupervised probation and a court-cost fine related to the perjury conviction. Eaton said Williams has relocated to Arizona and wants to put the incident behind him and get on with his life.

City manager Carl Holder said the incident has not created any anti-gay public perception problems for the city, despite a flurry of Internet interest in the story. Holder said the flap was a "blip on the radar" sparked by "extremists preaching to their own choir." Holder singled out one online account of the case as a "gross misrepresentation" that intentionally misled readers.

John Null is the host and creator of Left of the Dial. From 2013-2016, he also served as a reporter in the WKMS newsroom.
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