Woman accused in Ripley rape case speaks out

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

GATES, TN (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South wife accused of helping her husband rape a teenage girl is responding to allegations she calls outrageous.

Police say the alleged crime happened inside a home in Gates, Tennessee - north of Ripley - back in 2009.

Michael Shaw is charged with two counts of aggravated statutory rape.  His wife Linda, charged with facilitation of rape, is now talking for the first time.

"People that goes around telling lies, they should be locked down and be done just like we've been treated," Linda said.

Police say Linda Shaw lured a teenage girl to her house and then watched as her husband sexually assaulted the young woman.

"Kids have always been over to their house," said Linda Shaw's mother, Eunice Freeman "Always come over and spend the night. It's a community hand out for the kids"

Shaw says the accusations against her and her husband simply are not true.

"I'm willing to take a lie detector test," she said. "I have nothing to hide. I'm not lying, I did not do this - me and my husband did not do this.

Court papers say the alleged rapes happened in May and August of last year. The accuser claims Michael Shaw raped her while Linda was lying next to him.

The affidavit says the young girl, the victim in the case, didn't come forward until May of this year.  She says it was because Michael Shaw told her not to tell anyone or her would hurt her.

"My and my husband both is asking for lie detectors tests," Linda said. "We are asking for tests, and I wonder if she would have a lie detector test and say this?"

Shaw, who has two children of her own, says her family has been torn apart.  The kids have been staying with their grandmother during this ordeal.

"They've been really bad, crying, missing their momma and the little boy wrote a suicide note saying if it weren't for his sister, he would kill himself," Freeman said.

Linda Shaw said they got to know the accuser and her family at the Ripley Church of God, where they were active members until the allegations surfaced.

"I was a Sunday school teacher," she said. "I also went to Chattanooga for a youth counselor with the girls. Her mom was my best friend."

The church's pastor says the Shaws have not been active in the church for months.

"They got mad and left," Rev. Tracy Henson said. "They called us a bunch of hypocrites and when they left the church, that was it."

Freeman says the family is using their faith to bring them through this.

"Linda said she was praying to the Lord to show her and her husband in a valley and said he shined a light on them, put his hand on them and lifted them up," she said

The Shaws believe their voices will be heard in court.

"Its rough," Linsa said. "Jail is rough. I've never been in trouble before in my life.  Me and my husband did not do this at all. We're being held and charged for something we did not do."

Linda Shaw posted $20,000 and was released from jail. Her husband is still behind bars.

They're due back in court for a preliminary hearing on July 2.

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