- Special Sections
- Public Notices
A verdict is expected this morning in the trial of an Elizabethtown man charged with multiple sex crimes concerning an underage girl, who testified today.
George William Beason, 32, originally faced an additional sexual abuse charge. Circuit Judge Ken Howard and Commonwealth’s Attorney Shane Young agreed Thursday the evidence didn’t support that charge.
Beason is accused of engaging in various sex acts with a girl who, along with her mother and siblings, lived with him. He is charged with third-degree rape, three counts of incest, three counts of third-degree sodomy, five counts of first-degree sexual abuse and distribution of obscene matter to minors.
Beason waived a jury trial, opting for the judge alone to determine the verdict. Howard is scheduled to announce his decision at 9 a.m.
The girl, who was 14 when the year-long period of alleged abuse was reported, testified Thursday as the last prosecution witness.
She didn’t look at Beason except to identify him when asked. Instead, she swiveled to face Young as he asked her “yes” or “no” questions.
In a voice that barely carried across the courtroom, she said the first alleged encounter began when she and Beason were alone in the house, and from her open bedroom door, she saw him across the hall masturbating.
Beason said he liked parts of her body, she said.
She described other such instances, including one in which she said Beason told her to take her shirt off and she did.
Young spoke softly as the girl began to cry.
“I need you to be strong for me,” he said. “I need you to tell me what happened.”
She said Beason masturbated and ejaculated on her bedroom floor.
Previous testimony said Beason’s semen was found on the carpet of the girl’s bedroom.
She said Beason sometimes gave her gifts, such as contact lenses, when she complied with some of his requests.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office said video clips presented earlier show Beason buying the girl a cell phone after he tried to have sex with her.
Beason watched silently with his forearms on the table in front of him.
Defense attorney David Stewart asked the girl if she was unhappy in her former school, if her grades were bad, if her phone had been turned off and if she recently had been told she could not go to a concert because she was in trouble.
The girl said all that was true.
Stewart asked if the girl told her mother she had been sexually abused after her mother accused her of smoking marijuana.
She said that was true.
In closing arguments, Stewart said the girl had been in trouble, so she blamed Beason.
“She was angry,” he said. “Her grades were failing. She wanted to go to a concert. She wanted her phone turned back on. She needed a way to turn it on someone else.”
Stewart also suggested the semen could have been transferred from a piece of laundry.
Family members should have heard or witnessed ongoing abuse in such a small house, and the girl repeatedly told her mother the abuse had stopped, Stewart said.
The girl and her mother were unable to provide specific dates for the alleged incidents, and details of their stories didn’t align, he said.
“Reasonable doubt permeates this case,” he said. “It’s everywhere.”
Beason chose not to testify.
Young said in his closing arguments it made sense the girl didn’t remember all the dates and details of instances of abuse because there was an ongoing pattern she was brave enough to testify about.
Young said he was a little ashamed his office hadn’t sought higher charges because he thought there was forcible compulsion, and he thought there was plenty of evidence to convict Beason on the charges filed.
“There’s not proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said. “There’s proof beyond any doubt.”
Incest is a Class B felony if the victim is younger than 18, while the remaining charges are Class D felonies. Beason faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. He is lodged at the Hardin County Detention Center in lieu of $250,000 bond.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or email@example.com.