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Ken Seaton, Head of Family Inns of America Facing
Five Charges of Alleged Sexual Battery

By J.J. Stambaugh, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Dec. 1, 2009--A prominent Pigeon Forge business leader and hotel magnate is slated to appear in court Jan. 20 to answer allegations that he had sexual contact with five different women without their consent at one of his properties, court records show.

Ken Seaton, 72, was arrested last week on five charges of sexual battery and was freed from the Sevier County Jail after posting $50,000 bond, according to the Sevier County Sheriff's Office.

Seaton, who is president of the Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce and heads the Family Inns of America chain as well as several other businesses, didn't return phone calls Monday. It wasn't clear if he had retained an attorney.

According to court records, Seaton is accused of having nonconsensual sexual contact with five women at one of his businesses, KMS Accounting on Tammy King Road in Pigeon Forge. All of the alleged incidents took place over the past few weeks, with three of them allegedly occurring Nov. 14, according to records.

The alleged contacts included grabbing one woman's breasts and grasping another woman's crotch, according to arrest warrants filed by the Pigeon Forge Police Department.

In a third incident, Seaton allegedly straddled a chair occupied by the female victim and then simulated intercourse by moving his pelvis, according to the warrants. When he stood away from the chair, according to documents, he allegedly told her: "Now that we've got that out of the way, we can get back to business."

A fourth woman said that he "suddenly thrust his face between (her) breast(s), forcing her shirt and bra down," and a fifth accused him of simulating intercourse while he was standing behind her, according to the warrants.

Court records indicate that some of the alleged victims are employees, but one woman who is employed by a local credit union was allegedly accosted while picking up a direct deposit check on Nov. 16, according to warrants.

J.J. Stambaugh may be reached at 865-342-6307.


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