Each charge carries a possible life sentence with the minimum sentence of 20 years in the state penitentiary.
James Clawson, 46, of Cadiz, is the accused man who allegedly sexually abused an eight-year-old female over the course of 5 years from when she was approximately 7 to when she was approximately 12.
"That was the key to deciding on the first-degree offense," said Detective Steve Bryan, investigator with the Kentucky State Police.
Clawson was arrested by the Kentucky State Police at approximately 7 p.m. Monday, February 7, and was released approximately four hours later, according to Trigg County Sheriff Randy Clark. His wife, Teresa Clawson, posted the required 10 percent, or $250, to have Clawson released from jail.
Following his arrest, Clawson allegedly confessed to Bryan in the Trigg County Sheriff’s Office on the charges and admitted the acts had been on going. Both video and audio recordings were made of the confession, according to Bryan. The detective said Clawson was read his legal rights and waived rights to have an attorney present at his confession.
Clawson appeared before Judge McCaslin Tuesday Feb. 8 for an arraignment hearing but his case was continued to allow adequate time for the suspect to retain a lawyer.
The Detective said the KSP had received a tip that the juvenile was being abused Monday morning. The information was made to the KSP through the Department of Social Services after an unnamed third party had alerted that office to the possible abuse. Law enforcement officials conducted the interview with Clawson Monday evening, when he confessed to the alleged crimes.
When contacted about the size of the bond involved in the charges, Judge McCaslin said his bond was set at $2,500 because the suspect had no criminal history, lived in Trigg County for a extended period of time and also because of the age-old rule that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Commonwealth Attorney G.L. Ovey said this is an issue that will pursued "to the fullest extent."
"It is my intent to present this to the Grand Jury as soon as possible," Ovey said adding that he will address the bond issue at the trial or Grand Jury level.
Bryan said Clawson’s bond was not an issue for his agency.
"I investigate, I arrest and when it comes to setting the bond, I have nothing to do with it," he said.
In comparison Billy Ward was brought up on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine in 2001 and paid a bond of $770.85. In 2000 Allen Rogers was brought up on charges of second and third degree forgery of checks and was released on $5,000 bond.
Officials at the Trigg County Clerk’s Office said bond is usually set based on a point system that determines bond based on criminal history and other factors.
Said Bryan: "I feel these people’s pain because I have spoken with them face to face and know what they are dealing with."