Man pleads guilty to filming teen girl

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Half of 18 videos shot in Hardin County

By Linda Ireland

An Adair County man pleaded guilty last week to multiple counts of voyeurism and promoting a minor in a sexual performance.

James Orley Absher, 50, admitted to videotaping an underage girl at his LaRue County home in 2011.

According to court records, Absher moved to Elizabethtown from Hodgenville in December 2011.

On Oct. 10, 2012, a juvenile in the home found a camera hidden in a tissue box on the bathroom sink. The camera was turned over to Kentucky State Police.

Computers from the home were seized and officers found images on the camera’s hard drive. According to the citation, there were images of a teenage girl undressing, dressing and showering in two different bathrooms. The teen was 17 when she was taped in LaRue County, according to records.

Absher was working as a dispatcher in the Columbia 911 center at the time of his arrest.

“The videos also depicted the defendant’s face placing the camera in the bathroom and later removing the camera,” the arrest warrant read.

Eighteen videos were found on the computers: Six were made in LaRue County; nine in Hardin County after the victim had turned 18; and three were an attempt to video, according to the case file in LaRue Circuit Court.

The case file also includes a handwritten letter Absher allegedly wrote and addressed to the teenager expressing regret.

Absher’s case was set for jury trial Oct. 22.

He opted to plead guilty to six counts of promoting a minor in a sexual performance with a recommended sentence of five years; and six counts of voyeurism with recommended sentence of 12 months.

Final sentencing is set for Jan. 9 in Nelson County because Absher’s attorney was unable to attend an earlier date in LaRue County.

If the case is settled Jan. 9 per the terms of the plea agreement, Absher will be required to complete a sex offender treatment program as a condition of parole and have no contact with the victim. He will be a registered sex offender for life “because he pled to multiple counts,” according to Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Whitney Meredith.

“The max he could have received by law is 20 years,” Meredith said.