Father ‘overwhelmed' by support from strangers after beating solicitor

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WKRN – NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Maury County, Tennessee father says he's "overwhelmed" by the support he's received from strangers after he beat up a man accused of soliciting his two young daughters.

"We got a whole bunch of Facebook messages, calls, calls from lawyers and a whole bunch of people after the story aired," Kenneth Faulkner told News 2.

According to Faulkner, strangers have even set up an account to help cover his legal fees.

"People I don't even know asked me if I started one. I said no. The next thing I knew it popped up on Facebook, a Go Fund Me page, for the legal expenses," said Faulkner.

Faulkner, 30, is charged with aggravated assault. He was arrested last Thursday and booked in the Maury County jail on a $6,000 bond.

He says he was angry that Thomas Williams, 67, was sentenced to three years of supervised probation, instead of jail time, for soliciting his two daughters, ages 4 and 7.

Williams will be placed on the sex offender registry.

According to court documents, on March 5 a Maury County Grand Jury indicted Williams on two counts of solicitation of a minor, defined as "unlawfully and intentionally and being eighteen years of age or older, by means of oral, written, or electronic communication, electronic mail or Internet services, directly or through another, to intentionally command, request, hire, persuade, invite or attempt to induce a person, to-wit to engage in the offense of sexual battery by an authority figure."

Faulkner went to Williams' house to confront him last week.

"He opened the door and came outside and I asked him, ‘Why did you do it to my children?' And all he could say was he ‘didn't know.' I kicked his butt," said Faulkner.

According to the police report, Williams told investigators Faulkner punched him in the face and slung him down the stairs.

District Attorney Brent Cooper told News 2, he understands the father's frustration but cautions citizens against taking matters into their own hands.

"I certainly understand Mr. Faulkner feeling the way he felt. I understand him wanting to do what he did. I have two daughters myself and I can tell you I would have the same feelings he had. The difference is whether or not you act on those feelings," said Cooper.

Cooper continued, "We have laws for a reason."

Williams has no criminal history which was taken into consideration before reaching the plea deal, according to Cooper.

Faulkner and several family members protested the decision to give Williams probation Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday outside of the Maury County courthouse.

Faulkner is scheduled to appear in court on August 11.