By Kin Easter
A plumber who consistently posted to the Facebook group Hip Hendersonville – Official, is due in court Thursday on charges of rape of a minor.
In advertising on the Hendersonville site as well as his own Facebook profile as 24-Hour Plumbing Service, Derek Justin Townsend, 28, wrote: “It’s that time of year when the cold weather will cause problems with your plumbing at the worst possible time. We will deal with it for you.”
According to a Davidson County affidavit, Townsend was working on a call from a customer in Goodlettsville on Jan. 12. Having arrived to perform the labor the day prior, the affidavit stated that Townsend made “several romantic advances” toward a 14-year-old resident of the home, telling her she was beautiful “several times.”
Townsend later left saying he needed more supplies to finish the job, according to the affidavit, and returned the next day, telling the minor that he did not return for work but instead to see her. That’s when Townsend, the affidavit said, allegedly forced his affections upon the victim by kissing and hugging her after she answered the door. He is said to have forced the girl into a crawlspace under her residence and performed sexual acts on her.
The alleged assault stopped when a commotion was heard from the house. Townsend then promised to return.
According to online court records from Sumner County, Townsend entered a guilty plea in 2007 to charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, a
lesser charge of aggravated kidnapping, auto burglary, and theft of property $1,000 – $10,000.
Replies on Facebook to his wall comment advertising his services condemned Townsend.
“You got it coming big time,” one Facebook user wrote. “I hope you pay with your life.”
“Rot in jail,” another said.
Townsend is slated to appear in court before Judge William Higgins at the Birch Building for review on Thursday.