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Local man pleads guilty to sexually abusing children

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By Calen McKinney

 

A Campbellsville man has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two local children and could spend five years in prison for his crimes.

Ryan Lacaine Hardin, 33, of 5592 Hodgenville Road in Campbellsville, was indicted by a Taylor County grand jury twice last year.

He was charged with third-degree sodomy, four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, two counts of third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor and 11 counts of first-degree sodomy.

He appeared in Taylor Circuit Court on Friday, Sept. 7, and pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sodomy, two counts of third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor and two counts of second-degree sexual abuse.

The remaining charges were dismissed.

The prosecutor in the case, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney John Miller, has recommended that Hardin be sentenced to serve five years in prison, register as a sex offender and receive sex offender treatment. Formal sentencing has been set for Nov. 9.

In one of the cases against him, Hardin was accused of sodomizing a 15-year-old boy while mentoring him at church.

According to court records, the boy told investigators that Hardin forced him to have anal sex. Records state that Hardin said he had oral and anal sex with the boy, but the acts were consensual.

In the other case, Hardin was accused of talking to a 15-year-old girl on the phone and allowing her to hear him masturbate. He was also accused of forcing her to perform oral sex, call him “daddy” and take nude photos of herself.

Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy Dickie Benningfield investigated the cases against Hardin.

Miller declined to comment on the case. Lebanon attorney Joseph Stewart, who is representing Hardin, did not return a phone call from the News-Journal office before press time.

If convicted by a jury in both of his cases, Hardin faced as much as 245 years in prison.