Former Grant County High School band director pleads guilty to sexual abuse

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DRY RIDGE, Ky. -- A Grant County High School director of bands arrested in September 2013 and eventually charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse with two teenaged girls pleaded guilty in court Monday.

Kenneth Owens,34, who also goes by the name David, pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a 14 year old girl in Kenton County court as part of a deal to avoid further prosecution in three other Kentucky counties.

In September 2013, Owens was charged with having sexual relations with a 16-year-old in Grant, Boone and Rowan counties.

Owens was arraigned on additional charges of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of a 14-year-old in Kenton County in January. That teenager came forward after seeing media coverage of Owens' arrest in September.

Owens originally pleaded not guilty to all charges.

As part of his agreement with the Kentucky Commonwealth Attorney’s Office on Monday, Owens will be sentenced to 10 years in prison for rape, sodomy, and sexual abuse with a female under 16 years of age.

“Yeah, absolutely I think he got what he deserved," said Rob Sanders, the Commonwealth Attorney for Kenton County.

Sanders added he felt fairly certain no one no other victims of Owens were in the community.

"Anytime you have someone who is in contact with this many underage children, there's always going to be concern.That said, we don't have any evidence at this juncture – no one has come forward and said they are a victim as well," Sanders said..

In the initial charges, investigators said Owens performed sexual acts with the minor on two separate occasions in April of 2011.

Owens resigned in lieu of termination, Grant County Superintendent Ron Livingood said.

Livingood said school administrators first heard of rumors about Owens and immediately investigated, later turning the case over to the Grant County Sheriff's Office, the Commonwealth Attorney and the Educational Professional Standards Board.

"I assure you that the administration of the Grant County School District acted swiftly and decisively to ensure the safety and well-being of our students. That is, and will always be our primary concern," Livingood said in a letter sent to parents. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone concerned and/or involved."

Owens had been the director of bands at Grant County High School since 2009, according to the Grant County Band's website.

His wife, Joann Owens, resigned from her position at the Grant County Middle School the same month as her husband after she was charged with two counts of tampering with a witness.

The news shocked the community.

"Really, really sad,” said Adrienne Yangoua. “I have children that go to the high school.  I just can't believe it." 

"Too heartbreaking somebody could do something like that to a child,” said James Hornsby. 

"They should be put in prison,” Hornsby said, “but my question is that enough punishment."

Owens will be sentenced March 5 in Grant County and March 25 in Kenton County. His sentences will run at the same time.

Sanders said Owens would most like be paroled much earlier than the years he is sentenced to serve.

 

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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