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Former deputy jailer enters Alford plea to sexual misconduct

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By Linda Ireland

 A former LaRue County deputy jailer entered a plea May 7 to one amended count of sexual misconduct and second-degree promoting contraband.

Harold Marcum, 66, of Magnolia, offered an Alford plea in LaRue Circuit Court. He maintained his innocence but admitted that the prosecution could likely obtain a conviction in the case.

Marcum, along with former chief deputy jailer Travis Strader, 40, of Sonora, were indicted last year on charges that they brought banned items into the jail and provided them to female inmates in exchange for sexual favors.

Strader pleaded guilty to charges and was sentenced to a year in jail.

A civil suit is still pending on the matter in LaRue Circuit Court. It’s unclear how the guilty pleas will affect the outcome of the case.

Marcum originally was indicted with two counts of sexual abuse, first- and second degree; second-degree promoting contraband; and three counts of official misconduct. 

Four charges were dismissed with prejudice which means they may not be refiled.

Two female inmates accused him of bringing tobacco into the jail and exchanging it for sexual contact.

Marcum was fined $155 which has been paid in full, according to court records. Recommended sentence is 12 months on each charge, to be conditionally discharged for two years. He was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victims.

Final sentencing was pronounced by LaRue Circuit Judge Charles Simms III.

The charges – which spanned a two-year period – were leveled by Kentucky State Police after a seven-month investigation.