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Judge to consider motion to dismiss charges against former trooper

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Allegations against Stratford Young, Todd Matti involve 15-year-old girl

By Gina Clear

A motion for dismissal of sex-related charges against former state trooper Stratford Young is being considered by a judge.

Young’s attorney, Kenton Smith, told Judge Bruce Butler on Thursday in Meade Circuit Court in Brandenburg that he will not file a response to the commonwealth’s answer to the motion. Smith had 30 days to respond, but chose to forgo the option.

Young is charged with two counts of third-degree sodomy and one count of third-degree rape in a case involving a 15-year-old girl.

Both of Young’s charges claim he was a “person in a position of authority or position of special trust” when he engaged in sex acts, including intercourse, as a result of his job.

In his original motion, Smith questions the definition of a person in a position of authority or position of special trust in a Kentucky Revised Statute subsection. Smith said because the statute neglects to specifically mention police officers, it is unconstitutionally vague, which is grounds for dismissal.

The prosecution’s response suggests a person in a position of trust is not limited to the positions listed in the statute.

According to Young’s indictment, the offenses with the underage girl occurred “on or about May 22, 2013, through July 31, 2013.”

Young’s next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 7.

Former Brandenburg police officer Todd Matti also is facing charges involving alleged relations with the same 15-year-old girl.

His attorney, Robert Schaefer, filed an agreed order to reassign Matti’s pretrial hearing to 9 a.m. Sept. 18. The joint order was agreed to by special prosecutors from the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

Schaefer told the judge a new prosecutor, Diane Arnold, had been assigned to the case and he is expecting to receive new discovery evidence.

Matti is charged with two counts of third-degree sodomy. According to Matti’s indictment,

the offenses occurred “on or about Nov. 16, 2012, in Meade County,” six days after the girl’s 15th birthday.

The second count charges third-degree sodomy by a “person in a position of authority or position of special trust” when Matti engaged in “deviate sexual intercourse” with the underage girl as a result of his position of authority.

An indictment is an allegation, not proof of guilt. Young and Matti are innocent until proven guilty.

The case originally was brought to KSP Post 4 in July 2013 with a complaint of a KSP trooper from Post 4 having inappropriate relations with an underage girl. The investigation uncovered additional allegations against another KSP trooper, a Brandenburg police officer, a Breckinridge County sheriff’s deputy and an adult male in another state.

Amidst the investigation, Young and former state police trooper Jerry Clanton were fired and Matti and former Breckinridge County Sherriff’s Deputy Chris Woosley resigned.

Although not indicted by the commonwealth, Clanton and Woosley were named in a list of evidence from the investigation provided by the commonwealth in Young’s and Matti’s cases. Clanton also admitted to sex acts with the girl in a hearing with the KSP Trial Board in an effort to get back his job.

Former special prosecutor for the cases, Sarah Farmer, said she has no intentions of presenting additional cases against other suspects while the other two currrent cases are ongoing.

Matti and Young are free on bond after each posted 10 percent of a $10,000 bond in March when they were indicted and arraigned.

Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1746 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.