Man enters Alford plea to abusing two children

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Won't spend time in prison for his crimes

By Calen McKinney

An Elk Horn man has said there is enough evidence to convict him of sexually abusing two young children. However, the man won't spend any time in prison for his crimes.

In October 2012, Gary Wayne Begley, 53, of 3980 Raikes Hill Road, was indicted by a Taylor County grand jury.

He was charged in two separate indictments with first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree sexual abuse of a child younger than 12, along with criminal attempt to commit first-degree sodomy of a child younger than 12.

According to the indictments, Begley allegedly subjected a boy to sexual abuse and attempted to sodomize the boy in the summer of 2003, 2004 or 2005. In the other case, the alleged sexual abuse involved a young girl in September 2003.

Kentucky State Police investigated the crimes.

On Friday, April 12, Begley appeared before Taylor Circuit Court Judge Dan Kelly and entered an Alford plea to facilitation to commit first-degree sexual abuse and facilitation to commit first-degree sexual abuse of a child younger than 12. The sodomy charge was dismissed in exchange for the plea.

With an Alford plea, a defendant recognizes that the court has enough evidence to convict, though the defendant maintains his or her innocence. The court treats an Alford plea the same way as a guilty plea.

In exchange for his plea, Begley was sentenced to two years' conditional discharge and was ordered to attend counseling.

The prosecutor also recommended that he be ordered to not have contact with his alleged victims or their family members, that the parties involved not make any disparaging remarks toward each other and he not abuse drugs or alcohol.

According to court records, Begley attempted to have sexual contact with the young boy and wrapped his arms around the girl, kissed her on the neck and asked her to have sex with him.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Holly N. Richardson prosecuted the case. She participated because of a conflict with the local prosecutor's office.

Richardson declined to comment on Begley's case and referred comment to another prosecutor, who did not return a phone call before press time.

Lebanon attorney Philip S. George Jr. represented Begley. He, too, did not return a phone call for comment.

If convicted by a jury in both of his cases, Begley could have been sentenced to as much as 35 years in prison.