July 30 – A Wilson County jury finds Brian Gadbois guilty on 24 counts, including physical and sexual abuse of minors. The jury deliberated less than two hours before the verdict was handed down.
Gadbois, 40, of Watertown, was charged in an investigation that began in 2020 after reports of abuse surfaced.
Gadbois’ convictions included 10 counts of raping a child, three counts of aggravated assault, seven counts of aggravated sexual battery, and four counts of indecent exposure. Gadbois is still in prison since a grand jury handed down an indictment.
The trial started Monday. Jurors heard testimony from Wilson County Sheriff’s Office detectives who detailed how the charges came to light and the investigative actions taken by the agency, including the search warrant of Gadbois’ home.
Experts from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation testified about TBEN and video evidence recovered from the home.
During the second day of the trial, the jury heard from the sexual abuse victim and Cece Ralston, the forensic interviewer for the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center. Ralston spoke to the victim shortly after the discovery of the crimes.
On the last day of the trial, two victims of physical abuse shared their stories before the medical expert who examined the sexual abuse victim testified.
In addition, judges reviewed numerous video clips of surveillance footage inside the house. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury returned guilty verdicts on all 24 counts.
“Every time you have a case like this, it’s absolutely tragic,” said District Attorney Jason Lawson. “I am so proud of the young victim who took the stand and told the jury what she suffered in this case.”
Lawson indicated that giving testimony under those circumstances is not easy.
“It’s always very difficult for anyone to talk about things like this, and to do so in public and with strangers, and to see such a young victim doing it deserves recognition of her strength,” said Lawson. “She showed tremendous courage in her testimony.”
That victim’s testimony was not the only evidence that led to the conviction.
“The same goes for the two victims of the physical assault,” Lawson said. “They took the stand and testified about the aggravated assaults he committed against them, which was no easy task. I am very grateful to the jury for doing justice to these victims.”
The prosecutor praised the detectives and prosecutors who handled the case.
“I cannot say enough about the team of professionals involved in the investigation and prosecution,” Lawson said. “Det. Jennifer Edwards and Det. Walker Woods of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the prosecutors who tried the case, Tom Swink, Justin Harris and Laura Bush, were simply outstanding in their professional collection and presentation of the evidence.”
Lawson noted that the verdict is just the “latest example of the work they are producing,” adding that Wilson County is “lucky to have them in the roles they serve.”
Gadbois remains in custody and will be sentenced at a later hearing. On Friday, Swink described the criminal process in a case like Gadbois’s as complicated.
“The range of punishment on the 10 counts of ‘rape a child’ is 25-40 years on each count (to serve at 100%),” Swink said. “The sentencing court will determine where in that range and whether they are sequential or simultaneous.”
For the seven counts of aggravated sexual battery, Swink indicated a range of sentences could be 30 years on each count, adding that the sentencing court will determine whether it is sequential or contemporaneous.
“The three counts of aggravated assault will likely be 15 years at 60%,” Swink said. “The number of indecent exposures will be punished with a maximum of 11 months and 29 days each. Again, the court will determine whether all possible sentences above will be executed sequentially or simultaneously.”