January 28, 2013

Phelps’ trial Feb. 4

Former school administrator facing sex charges

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A former Laurel County School administrator charged with having sexual relations with a minor teen is set for trial next month.

Charles Douglas Phelps, 53, was indicted in January 2012 on a five-count indictment that he allegedly provided alcohol and participated in sexual activities with a 14-year-old girl on two occasions in November 2011. On the second occasion, the young teen was allegedly accompanied by a 17-year-old girl, whom Phelps is also accused of subjecting to sexual contact.

The trial date is scheduled for Feb. 4 in Laurel Circuit Court.

The last court date for Phelps was on Jan. 18 in which his attorney had submitted three motions. The first was for return of property that was confiscated during the investigation into the charges. Phelps’ personal computer and cell phone were removed from his home on Mahan Street at that time. The motion filed by Phelps’ attorney, Gary Crabtree, requested the items be returned to his client.

The second motion addressed by Laurel Circuit Judge Tom Jensen was a writ of habeas corpus, which means that Phelps’ request to have two incarcerated persons testify on his behalf at trial. Jensen granted both motions.

The third motion, which was to dismiss the fifth count of the indictment charging Phelps with sexual contact with a 17-year-old, was taken under consideration. Court records do not indicate that a decision on that motion has yet been reached.

Phelps served as the pupil personnel director for the Laurel County School System from 2002 until his suspension in November after school administrators were notified of an investigation by the Kentucky State Police.