A circuit court judge in Hardin County, Ky. sentenced a Wendell man Dec. 1 to 30 years in prison for committing several sex offenses last year, including having sex with a 13-year old girl.
The sentence for Eugene Edward Hunt, 52, came as part of a plea bargain on four counts of first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor younger than 16 and six counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor, said a spokesman with the Kentucky State Police. Other charges, of second-degree sodomy and three counts of second-degree rape, were dismissed.
Hunt will have to serve at least 25 and a half years before he is eligible for parole. He will also have to register as a sex offender.
Family members of the victim said Hunt worked several years ago in Wendell for a man who later moved to Kentucky and became the victim’s stepfather. They said a more recent work opportunity led to Hunt traveling back and forth from Wendell to Kentucky and staying with the family in White Mills, about 50 miles south of Louisville.
It was there that Hunt and the victim entered into a relationship that included 10 incidences of sexual intercourse beginning on Valentine’s Day, 2014, according to the warrant for Hunt’s arrest. The warrant also said “(Hunt) is in love with the victim and would marry her right now and take care of her and the unborn child.”
Hunt was 50 at the time of his involvement with the victim, who is now 15. Their child is now 10 months old.
The victim and her mother reported the relationship on Aug. 26, 2014, and Hunt was taken into custody the same day. Hunt was listed as a Kentucky resident in the arrest citation, but he still had a North Carolina phone number and driver’s license.
Hunt faces another court date Dec. 15 in adjacent Grayson County, Ky., where officials said he is charged with two counts of third-degree rape, three counts of first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor younger than 16, and one count of third-degree sodomy, all involving the same victim. The teen’s family has a vacation house in Grayson County.
North Carolina criminal records show Hunt has a handful of traffic violations, most recently for speeding in 2005, when he was listed as living in Zebulon. Hunt had addresses in Raleigh, Knightdale and Wendell prior to 2005.
Kentucky State Police spokesman Jeff Gregory previously said law officials there do not believe there is any reason to involve North Carolina law enforcement agencies in Hunt’s case.
Staff writer Mechelle Hankerson contributed to this report.