Singer Ryan Upchurch has been served with an order of protection in Cheatham County, Tennessee, few details of which have been made public. FOX 17 News reports that they called the sheriff's office after learning about the order and were told that the sheriff is out of town, but a spokesperson from the department said that he would call the sheriff to find out what the department knows about the order.
Since the ex-parte order was served, the victim has had a hearing with a judge who sided with the her and granted the full order. The victim is now hoping she gets the full protection. "I testified to the judge that it truly made me feel scared and intimidated," she said in a statement. "Now I know there are people who care about upholding the law and who will fight for those who feel helpless." She also thanked groups that have helped her.
The order was served on the same day Upchuch donated his first gold record to the Cheatham County Sheriff's Department last month, and the musician's close relationship with the sheriff's department reportedly has the victim who the order protects "feeling terrified." Verna Wyatt with TN Voices For Victims told FOX 17 News that even if the department does not know anything about the order, they need to address their posts on social media celebrating Upchurch and his donation.
"They should immediately take those posts down and apologize to the victim because it’s totally insensitive, inappropriate, and it sends a message regardless to the victim, that her perpetrator is in league with the people that are supposed to protect her," Wyatt said. "It’s wrong." She added that the department's behavior is "totally intimidating and we’re living in a state where we’re in the top ten for where men kill women."
The Cheatham County Sheriff's Department captioned a photo of Upchurch presenting the department with his gold record "AN HONOR FROM THE CHURCH."
"His love for Cheatham and all America is so amazing and during our discussion today, we were also humbled by his true love for the men and women in law enforcement and emergency services," the message continued, highlighting the relationship between Upchurch and the sheriff's department that has the victim so concerned. "Ryan surprised us by giving his first gold album to the sheriff and chief deputy for safekeeping. He added the award will be better protected than in his own bunker! Thank You Church and appreciate what you do for Cheatham!!"