HAZARD – A Perry County man charged with incest and rape will not be released from jail to await trial after a judge denied a request to reduce his bond.
Johnny Melton, 42, was arraigned in Perry Circuit Court on Thursday where he pleaded not guilty to allegations that he had sex with a juvenile family member on more than one occasion between April 17 and April 19.
Melton was allegedly with the female while he was arrested in Winchester on a count of custodial interference in April. It was during this time, according to the police report, the female told police that Melton had engaged in sexual intercourse with her at the Daniel Boone Motor Inn in Hazard.
The grand jury returned an indictment against Melton last month, charging him with three counts of incest, two counts of first-degree rape, and one count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment.
While in court on Thursday, Melton’s attorney, Kevin Johnson, requested his client’s bond be lowered to 10 percent of the original $100,000 set following his indictment by the grand jury. Melton is a native of Perry County and has no criminal history, Johnson said, and he would not be a risk to leave the area in an attempt to escape prosecution.
“I don’t believe he’s a flight risk,” Johnson said, adding that his client would agree to whatever conditions the court deemed appropriate were he allowed to leave jail on bond.
Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen said while he also was not concerned with Melton’s risk of flight, he did have concerns that he might be a danger to others, particularly the alleged victim in the case.
“We oppose reduction of bond based on the nature of the charges,” Hansen said.
Judge William Engle reviewed the police reports in the case, noting at one point that Melton admitted to engaging in sexual activity with the alleged victim. Engle made a finding that Melton could pose a risk of danger to others and denied any reduction in bond.
Melton is currently lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard. He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in October, and is currently slated to go on trial Dec. 2.