Former ‘Survivor’ contestant from Germantown, Tenn. indicted on rape, aggravated assault charges

Updated: Nov. 26, 2019 at 5:42 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Mid-South reality star has been indicted by a Shelby County grand jury on charges of rape and aggravated assault.

Silas Gaither, 41, was a contestant on the third season of the CBS television show “Survivor” in 2001.

Gaither is from Germantown.

“Totally shocked, completely. I never would have thought about such a thing,” said Sandy Smith.

Smith lives next door to Gaither in Germantown and was stunned Tuesday when WMC Action News 5 told her that her neighbor is facing a rape charge. Smith said the one-time reality star moved into the home beside her more than a year ago and fixed it up.

“He’s absolutely delightful, hardworking,” she said. “He’s renovated that house and has done amazing things to it. He’s just been great with all the other neighbors,” said Smith.

Earlier this month, a Shelby County grand jury indicted Gaither on two counts -- rape and aggravated assault. Details are limited because Memphis Police do not release incident narratives in sexual assault cases.

Silas Gaither, a former contestant on "Survivor," was booked into Shelby County Jail Monday,...
Silas Gaither, a former contestant on "Survivor," was booked into Shelby County Jail Monday, Nov. 25, 2019 and released after posting $50,000 bond. He is indicted for rape and aggravated assault.(Shelby County Jail)

The indictment said the alleged assault happened between May 10 and May 20 in 2018.

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said Tuesday she couldn’t talk specifics of the case but offered next steps.

“The next thing that will happen is an arraignment setting. I believe this is criminal court 3, Judge Carter. It will be handled by our special victims’ unit,” said Weirich.

By Tuesday afternoon, word of Gaither’s arrest made headlines in People magazine, The New York Post’s Page Six and gossip site TMZ. People reports Gaither lasted five episodes before being voted off “Survivor: Africa” based in Kenya.

The magazine said Gaither stayed in Los Angeles after the show, landing acting gigs and running a bar, before coming back to Tennessee to work for a home renovation company.

Nobody answered the door at Gaither’s house Tuesday and our messages left by phone were not returned.

The DA’s office said Gaither posted a $50,000 bond and is next due in court Jan. 9.

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