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Lily man enters guilty plea in child sex abuse case

From Corbin Times Tribune

Brett Eugene Hand - LCC

A jury trial was set to begin Tuesday for a Lily man facing multiple sexual-related charges involving two children, though the case was not presented to jurors due to an agreement with prosecutors allowing the man to enter a plea in exchange for lesser charges.

Brett Eugene Hand, 19, appeared in Laurel Circuit Court for the trial, where he instead entered a guilty plea to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse – victim under 12 years of age.

In Kentucky, first-degree sexual abuse is listed as a Class D felony but is enhanced to a Class C felony if the victim is under the age of 12, carrying a potential prison sentence of 5 to 10 years.

As part of the agreement, prosecutors recommended that Hand serve six years for one count and five years for the other, to be served consecutively — or one after the other — for a total of 11 years. In addition, Hand’s remaining charges of three counts of fist-degree sodomy – victim under 12 years of age will be dismissed at sentencing.

A formal sentencing has been set for April 11, where Judge Michael Caperton will make a final ruling concerning Hand’s punishment. At that time, a pre-sentence investigation report — which details the criminal behavior/background of a particular defendant — will be provided to the court for Caperton to review before making his ruling. A sex offender assessment will also need to be performed to determine how long Hand will be required to register as a sex offender upon release from prison. That assessment typically takes at least 45 days.

Hand was arrested in January 2018 following an investigation by the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department, which was initiated following allegations from two children that Hand had reportedly exposed them to sexual contact. He was indicted in February 2018 by a Laurel County grand jury, formally charging him on the original charges.

According to the indictment, Hand engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with the two children on several occasions. The ages of the children at the time of the alleged incidents were four and seven.

Hand currently remains jailed in the Laurel County Correctional Facility.

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