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More voyeurism charges filed against former dispatcher

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Landmark News Service

More charges have been filed against a former Hodgenville man accused of secretly videotaping an underage girl at his home.

James Orley Absher, 50, of Columbia and formerly of Hodgenville and Elizabethtown, was charged in March and December with several counts of promoting a minor in a sexual performance and voyeurism in LaRue County.

He faces nine additional counts of voyeurism in Hardin County.

According to an arrest warrant, Kentucky State Police received a complaint in October after a family member discovered a video camera hidden inside a tissue box in a bathroom at Absher’s former residence on Patrick Court in Elizabethtown.

Court records indicate the original indictment, filed in December, was amended, adding eight counts.

A detective examined the camera and found footage of the alleged victim, who was 18 at the time, taking a shower, according to police.

“The videos also depicted the defendant’s face placing the camera in the bathroom and later removing the camera,” the warrant reads.

Upon executing a search warrant, police confiscated two computers, which were sent to an FBI forensic lab, police said.

Investigators ultimately flagged 15 videos – nine recorded in Elizabethtown when the teen was 18 and six in Hodgenville when she was a minor, according to court records.

The videos were recorded between June 2011 and June 2012 and depict the woman undressing, showering and redressing, police said.

“When interviewed, the (alleged victim) said she had no knowledge the defendant was videotaping her undressing and taking showers in her bathroom at the house,” the warrant reads.

The case file in LaRue Circuit Court includes a handwritten letter Absher allegedly wrote and addressed to the teenager expressing regret.

According to police, in December 2011 the family moved from Hodgenville to Elizabethtown, leading to charges in both counties.

Absher’s case in LaRue County has set for jury trial on Oct. 22.

A pretrial conference in the Hardin County case is scheduled for May 17 in district court.

Upon his initial arrest following the December indictment in LaRue County, Absher was released on a $40,000 property bond, according to records.

Voyeurism is a Class A misdemeanor while promoting a matter portraying a minor in a sex act is a Class C felony, according to Kentucky Revised Statutes. If found guilty of the felony charges, each count is punishable by up to five to 10 years in prison.