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E'town man pleads guilty to rape of mentally disabled teen

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By Sarah Bennett

A 48-year-old Elizabethtown man pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that he had sex with a mentally disabled teen.

Appearing in Hardin Circuit Court, Vincent E. Mason pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and two counts of third-degree rape. Forcible contact was not alleged.

The victim, who is mentally incapable of consent, was younger than 16 when the encounters occurred between November 2010 and May 2012, according to the indictment.

According to a police citation, the girl was being treated at Hardin Memorial Hospital for an unrelated illness when she mentioned a sexual encounter with an “Uncle Ben.”

Mason was lodged May 25 at Hardin County Detention Center, and according to police, his statements during an interview corroborated those made by the teen.

Prosecutors have recommended he serve five years for second-degree rape and three years for each count of third-degree rape, all to be served concurrently for a total of five years.

A formal sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 5 in Judge Ken Howard’s courtroom.

If Howard accepts the plea agreement, Mason is eligible for parole after completing 20 percent of his five-year sentence.

In addition to a pre-sentence investigation, a sex offender evaluation also will be completed before formal sentencing.

Mason remains lodged at the detention center in lieu of a $25,000 cash bond.

Second-degree rape is a Class C felony, which is punishable by five to 10 years in prison if found guilty, according to Kentucky Revised Statutes.

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