On Dec. 2, Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned Brandon Lee Hawkins of Hopkinsville. Hawkins, a former Christian County Sheriff’s deputy and deputy jailer, was convicted in 2015 on two counts of rape, sodomy and official misconduct. 

According to New Era archives, Hawkins was indicted in Oct. 2013 on two counts of third-degree rape, third-degree sodomy, first-degree official misconduct and second-degree hindering prosecution/apprehension following a Kentucky State Police investigation. 

The charges stemmed from an intimate relationship with an inmate who was on supervised release administered by the Department of Corrections. 

The victim was ordered to complete an in-house substance abuse program in Henderson but instead hid in North Carolina. She said that she would not return to Hopkinsville because she was being sexually abused by Hawkins in connection to his employment at Christian County Jail. 

However, she later told KSP that she had consensual sex with Hawkins and continued having sex with him after her release and enrollment at the treatment center in Henderson. 

In his pardon, Bevin said that Hawkins “has paid his debt to society for his lapse in judgement some years ago.” 

Hawkins pardon is unconditional, restoring all of his rights and privileges as a citizen of the commonwealth.   

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