October 14, 2013

Phelps arrested for violating bond conditions

By Nita Johnson
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Just one day after his trial was re-scheduled and new bond conditions were set, a former school administrator was jailed for violating those restrictions.

Laurel Circuit Judge Tom Jensen issued the warrant of arrest against 54-year-old Charles Douglas Phelps on Wednesday “for violation of bond conditions instituted on October 8, 2013.” The order of arrest also states that a status hearing on the case is set for October 18.

Phelps was in court on Tuesday for his trial involving alleged sexual abuse of a girl who was 17 years old then.Although the victim was not present for the trial, Phelps was ordered to be under home incarceration from 6:30 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. He was also told not to have any contact with either of the two victims in the original indictment which also involved a girl who was then 14 years old when the incidents occurred in November 2011.

But no officials will comment on the specifics that sent Phelps to jail the day after the new bond conditions were set. Neither the court nor jail records list whether Phelps violated his bond conditions by failing to abide by the home incarceration or by contact with either of the victims in the case.

Officials with Emcon would not confirm or deny whether Phelps signed up for home incarceration.

Records from the Laurel Detention Center list Phelps as being arrested Wednesday on three counts of sexual abuse and two counts of unlawful transaction with a minor. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele said that Phelps was jailed on a contempt of court charge and that no new charges have been filed against him. Instead, he was arrested on the warrant issued by Judge  Jensen.

Steele said he could not comment on the ongoing case at this point other than to confirm that no new charges had been filed against Phelps. He also confirmed that the only pending charge against Phelps was Count 5 of the indictment - which involved the 17-year-old because the other four original charges with the 14-year-old had been dismissed.

Laurel County Jailer Jamie Mosley upheld the same, stating that information represented on the Jail Tracker system shows the charges when the original bond was posted.

“He (Phelps) was arrested for a bond revocation on the remaining charge of the original five,” Mosley said.

Like the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, officials with Judge Jensen’s office declined comment on the specifics of the warrant.

Phelps, who was the former Director of Pupil Personnel, was placed on administrative leave after allegations that he was having inappropriate relationships with two minor-age females. He was indicted by a Laurel grand jury on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of unlawful transaction with a minor in Feb. 2012. He reportedly exposed the 14-year-old to sexual contact on Nov. 3 and Nov. 5, 2011, as well as giving the girl alcoholic beverages on Nov. 5. The final count of the indictment claims that Phelps exposed the 17-year-old to sexual contact on Nov. 5, 2011.

Phelps later resigned from the school system although he was not present in his office since his suspension in November 2011.

Phelps turned himself in to authorities on Jan. 23, the Tuesday after the indictment was returned on Friday. He was released 30 minutes later after posting $15,000 cash bond.