Accused 'big bellied rapist' appears in court - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Accused 'big bellied rapist' appears in court

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

WEAKLEY COUNTY, TN (WMC-TV) - The main suspect a string of rapes across West Tennessee earlier this year appeared before a judge Wednesday afternoon.

To the familiar sound of flash bulbs, Bruce Tuck stepped into court from his jail cell.  He was scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing, but instead he signed his name on 12 documents, effectively forwarding his case to the next level.

Tuck is accused of being the man dubbed the 'big-bellied rapist,' facing a series of charges in connection to a late August rape in Martin. He could be indicted for two other Martin rapes when the initial case is presented to a grand jury in Weakley County in early January.

"We anticipate to present other matters to that grand jury at that time," Weakley County District Attorney General Tommy Thomas said.

Defense attorney Colin Johnson said for now, he's not concerned about other potential charges. For the time being, Tuck will concentrate on the case he has been charged in.

"He's entered a Not Guilty plea," Johnson said. "He'll enter a Not Guilty plea in January."

Johnson had little else to say about Tuck's defense.

"Frankly, I don't know how strong of a case there is," he said. "Obviously (I) haven't spoken to the victims, so I can't answer that question right now."

Johnson will find out over the coming months, while Tuck sits in jail waiting for another day in court.

Tuck is also suspected of committing two rapes in Shelby County.  Before he's charged with those, he must be indicted by a Shelby County grand jury.  The District Attorney's office won't say if or when it will present those cases.

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