WASHINGTON, November 8, 2017 – James Wesley Gilkey of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, faced spending much of the rest of his life in prison. Gilkey was charged with molesting his friend’s daughter in January 2017. It all started, he said, when this girl aged five, for whom he babysat on occasion, was reluctant to get off the school bus when Gilkey came to pick her up.
Charges of sexual abuse of a minor against Gilkey man were dismissed Wednesday in Christian Circuit Court.
Charges against Gilkey
The bus driver sensing something was wrong with the child called the local Child Protective Services which then issued a scathing report on Gilkey.
“Unable to manage conflict,” the CPS assessment found, “Incapacitated from drugs and alcohol. Unable to verbalize high risk/ times triggers. History of intergenerational family violence, criminal charges.”
The scathing assessment led to an investigation by the Hopkinsville, Kentucky Police Department. Gilkey said this assessment was made without speaking to him or any of his friends and family, and none of it is true.
The Police Investigation of Begins
Gilkey said he was visited by two police detectives, including Detective Jason Sears who would then head up the criminal investigation. Gilkey said that neither officer let on during the initial interview that he was suspected of molesting a child but was asked to accompany the officers to the police station.
Approximately twenty minutes into the interrogation at the Hopkinsville Police Station Gilkey said he was informed that he was suspected of molesting his friend’s daughter.
He said he vehemently denied the charge and even asked to take a lie detector test, but Officer Sears declined to administer the test. Though he denied molesting his friend’s daughter, Gilkey later learned that Detective Sears later told her that Gilkey had confessed.
An email to Detective Sears was left unreturned; a subsequent email to Hopkinsville Police Chief Clayton Sumner was also left unreturned.
Gilkey said he was subsequently charged with molestation and taken into custody based on a purported interview with the child where Detective Sears suggested the child implicated him in the molestation.
Gilkey said the prosecutor, Katherine Foster, offered him one deal, eighteen years in prison. Foster, whose title is Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, did not respond to an email for comment.
But when his attorney got a hold of the video the child said no such thing, instead, the child said she was sad that she was no longer allowed to see him.
The prosecutor refused to drop the charges and Gilkey said, even worse, the prosecutor refused to watch the video.
Finally, in September 2017, after finally viewing the video the prosecutor offered a new deal.
The charges would be dropped with prejudice, meaning the charges could not be refiled, but only after Gilkey agreed to sign a document which stated that there was enough probable cause to bring charges.
By signing this document, Gilkey’s ability to sue the prosecutor and the police is near impossible.
Gilkey said his family had already spent more than $10,000 in his defense and the bill would have likely doubled if he insisted on moving forward.
The charges were dropped in October 2017.
Gilkey says an internal affairs investigation has begun. He provided an email he received from the Hopkinsville Police Department.
“I have officially been assigned your case. I started working on it yesterday, I will need to meet with you (if possible) to discuss some of the specific complaints.” The email stated. “Our meeting should assist my investigation in detecting any misrepresentation of the facts revolving around your specific case. Typically, these cases are reviewed by myself or the Chief. Due to the nature of this case I will be conducting the investigation.
“Additionally, my investigation is centered on the actions of Detective Sears.”
Gilkey said he was going to college when the charges hit; he’s since dropped out as a result of the charges and is hoping to rebuild his life.