Couple sentenced in sexual abuse case

A Clark County couple was sentenced Thursday to charges that a 13-year-old girl was sexually abused on several occasions.

James Simmons, 62, of 4519 Paris Road, was sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty in July to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and one count of use of a minor in a sexual performance.

Simmons’ wife Penny, 61, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree criminal abuse and was sentenced to three years. Clark Circuit Judge William Clouse, though, probated her sentence for three years with the condition she have no contact with the victim.

Prosecutors had asked she be ordered to have no contact with James Simmons as a condition, but it was overruled.

“I know I failed to take care of her,” Penny Simmons said, adding that she was scared of James Simmons.  “I’m sorry I wasn’t stronger and braver.”

James Simmons did not speak during his sentencing hearing.

According to court documents, James Simmons was arrested by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office in December after Penny Simmons reported the abuse. She said she saw James Simmons have the child paddle him for his sexual gratification. She also told detectives she saw him in the child’s room while she was sleeping with his hands under the covers near her buttocks while he watched “pornographic videos.”

Penny Simmons was later arrested for participating and not reporting it to law enforcement.

James Simmons was also ordered to register as a sex offender and submit a DNA sample.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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