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E'town man accused of abuse arraigned in circuit court

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By Sarah Bennett

An Elizabethtown man accused of abuse and financial exploitation of a parental figure pleaded not guilty at a Tuesday arraignment in Hardin Circuit Court.

Joseph A. Starks, 37, was arrested in May after Elizabethtown police officers found the Adams Road home in “extremely poor condition,” according to the citation. The grand jury returned an indictment against him in September.

Officers found a bedridden woman inside the home who was unable to eat or get in and out of bed, according to the citation. She was transported from the scene to Hardin Memorial Hospital where she was diagnosed with “several serious sores.”

Documents found in the home showed that Starks received several thousand dollars from the couple, according to police. The citation indicates Starks had been living with the couple since August 2010.

Starks has been released on a $10,000 unsecured bond, and he is being represented by Caroline Brown of the Department of Public Advocacy. He will appear in court for a status conference in March.

Starks is charged with one count of knowingly abusing or neglecting an adult and one count of financial exploitation of an adult.

The exploitation charge is a Class C felony. If found guilty, Starks faces five to 10 years in prison.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.