Whitesburg KY

Judge gets reprimand

Breathitt County’s circuit court judge has been publicly reprimanded for comments he made about juvenile victims during the sentencing of an adult male teacher convicted of sexually abusing the students.

The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission this week issued the punishment of 39th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Frank Fletcher of Jackson. The commission found that Fletcher said the victims “didn’t look their age” and that the teacher was “not blind and only human.” Fletcher also said the sexual encounters between the teacher and juveniles “were consensual.”

Eight months after sentencing the teacher to seven years in prison, Fletcher, whose circuit also includes Powell County, granted shock probation in the case.

Commission Chairman Steven Woltnizek concluded that the comments showed bias or prejudice toward the teacher.

Fletcher cooperated with the investigation.

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