January 26, 2012

Phelps arrested, released, on indictment

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A school administrator indicted Friday was arrested Monday evening on a warrant stemming from the charges.

Charles Douglas Phelps, 52, of Mahan Avenue in London, turned himself in to authorities at the Laurel County Detention Center around 6 p.m. Monday, according to Lt. John Yates with Post 11 of the Kentucky State Police.

Jail records indicate that Phelps was booked at 6:37 p.m. and released at 7:08 p.m. after his bond was posted.

Phelps, who holds the Director of Pupil Personnel position with the Laurel County School System, is charged with three counts of sexual abuse and two counts of unlawful transaction with a minor. These incidents allegedly occurred with a 14-year-old on November 3 and November 5 in which the child was exposed to sexual contact and was allegedly given alcohol by Phelps. A 17-year-old girl was also subjected to sexual contact on November 5.

According to Interim Superintendant Sonny Fentress, Phelps is now on suspension without pay, effective Monday, Jan. 23, following Friday’s indictment in Laurel Circuit Court. Phelps had previously been on suspension since November, with pay, after the allegations surrounding the two minor children surfaced. Phelps has reportedly been working from his home and has had no contact with any children in the Laurel County School System since his suspension went into effect.

The Laurel County School System released a statement Friday afternoon after the indictment was announced, in which they stated that the priority of the school system was to provide a safe learning environment for the students of the county. To that effect, they stated: “Due to the serious nature of the allegations, the Laurel County Schools assures the public and parents of children that until this matter is resolved, the school district has taken steps that Mr. Phelps will not and does not have contact with students through his employment in the Laurel County Schools.”