Ora Walker, 21, Jared Fields, 22, Phillip Riddle, 21, and Brett Combs, 18, all of Hazard, were charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree sodomy, and first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor in March after police say they allegedly forced a 16-year-old boy, at knife point, on a couple different occasions from as early as January to as late as mid-March, to have deviant sexual acts while he was being held against his will as well as being forced to perform or receive further deviant sexual acts.
The preliminary hearing in Perry District Court on Tuesday was closed to the media and the public with Judge Leigh Anne Stephens allowing only the attorneys and family members of those involved in the case to be in the courtroom because of the juvenile issues in the case.
Judge Stephens said that she was closing the hearing “due to the fact this involves a juvenile and other juvenile issues and the fact that the law involving juvenile proceedings require juvenile cases to be closed,” even though the defendants in the case were not juveniles, she further noted.
Stephens also issued a gag order on the case “at this point” and ordered family members and attorneys involved in the case to refrain from giving interviews.
Following the hearing, Judge Stephens made a finding of probable cause and bound three of the four cases over to the grand jury, while the case against Ora Walker was reset.