Michael Joseph Akemon, 40, pleaded guilty to the charge on April 22, pursuant to an agreement with the commonwealth.
As part of the agreement, the commonwealth agreed to reduce the original charge of first-degree sodomy to first-degree sexual abuse in exchange for the guilty plea. According to Judge Ron Johnson, the commonwealth made the offer in order to spare the victim, who is a young child, the potential trauma that could result from a trial.
Johnson said he agreed with the reasoning.
"It is certainly a matter that is quite shocking," said Johnson.
Johnson also said he had received a letter from the defendant, in which Akemon said he feared for his safety in prison because of several circumstances, including an incident that allegedly occurred in the Harlan County Detention Center.
Due to Akemon's concerns, Johnson ordered that the Department of Corrections take appropriate and reasonable measures to ensure Akemon's safety while he is in prison.
Also in Friday's court proceedings, Anthony J. Carr, 33, Kenvir; was sentenced to five years in prison for receiving stolen property over $300 and second-degree felony offender.
A jury found Carr guilty of receiving stolen property over $300, and Carr subsequently pleaded guilty to the second-degree persistent felony offender charge.
Under the agreement, Carr was sentenced to one year for the first charge, and the second charge enhances that sentence to five years.
Johnson granted a defense motion to proceed in forma pauperis, but Johnson said he believed the defendant had given up his right to appeal when he pleaded guilty.
In other action:
n the court denied a motion by Timothy Bowling, 29, for bond reduction;
n James Ellenburg, 42, pleaded not guilty to first-degree possession of a controlled substance, operating a motor vehicle under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia;
n James Christopher Gray, 31, pleaded not guilty to first-degree trafficking a controlled substance;
n Anthony W. Massingale, 26, pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree trafficking a controlled substance and second-degree persistent felony offender;
n Michael Vanwinkle, 40, pleaded not guilty to attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud.
n Lawrence Jackson pleaded not guilty to flagrant non-support.