Rainsville Man Pleads Guilty To Rape

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Keary Edward Chandler (Photo: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office)

On Monday, a Rainsville man pleaded guilty to a rape that happened in the late 1980s.

Keary Edward Chandler entered an open guilty plea to the second degree rape of a pre-teen.

Chandler owns Rainsville Funeral Home and until recently, was planning a campaign for DeKalb County Coroner.  It was his second attempt -- he was defeated in a runoff in 1992.    

In February, just two weeks after qualifying as the Republican candidate in 2012, Chandler withdrew his name from the race for personal reasons.

Less than a week later, he turned himself in at the DeKalb County Jail on a charge of second degree rape of a 12-year-old girl that happened 25 years ago.  Chandler was 25 at the time.

DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris said Chandler was the girl's Sunday school teacher.  Her parents were suspicious something had happened between the two, but she denied it at the time.

The victim, now in her late 30s, reported the crime in January before Chandler announced his candidacy.

Investigators talked to witnesses who were involved with the church in the late 80s.

Chandler was out of jail on bond, but pleaded guilty Monday.  His plea is not part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, so a judge will sentence him.  That date is set for August 7.

Second-degree rape carries a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.