E'town man withdraws guilty plea in sex abuse case

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Runyon, 46, requests to proceed to jury trial

By Sarah Bennett

Charlie A. Runyon, 46, originally was indicted in September 2012 on charges of first-degree sodomy and three counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

In May, the commonwealth recommended to amend the sodomy charge to first-degree sexual abuse and the remaining charges were reduced to sexual misconduct, which is a misdemeanor.

According to that offer, Runyon would complete a five-year probation and enter the Kentucky Sex Offender Registry.

On Tuesday, Runyon withdrew his guilty plea and requested to proceed to jury trial, which Hardin Circuit Judge Kelly Mark Easton said would be set before the end of the year.

During Tuesday’s hearing, public defender Carolyn Brown said she reviewed Runyon’s case and recommended he accept the plea offer.

However, Runyon remained adamant he wanted to proceed to trial. In a statement in court, he referred to the evidence in the case as “hearsay.”

Runyon was arrested in May 2012 after three alleged victims filed complaints against him with Elizabethtown Police Department. One of those alleged victims was a minor at the time.

A police citation said Runyon admitted to the actions during an interview.

Easton scheduled a pretrial conference for Nov. 5 and said a jury trial will be scheduled in November or December.

The judge said continuing the case, which has been pending for more than a year, is “totally unfair” to potential witnesses.

“This case needs to be resolved,” Easton said.

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