Former UK basketball player Michael Porter arrested on sex charges

jkegley@herald-leader.comMay 15, 2012 

Former University of Kentucky basketball player Michael Porter has been charged with multiple counts of sodomy and sex abuse, accused of having sexual encounters with a minor, a girl he met at a church function, according to court records.

Porter, 25, is charged with six counts of third-degree sodomy and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. The charges are felonies.

Porter, represented by Lexington attorney Jim Lowry, pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday afternoon during his arraignment.

Lowry declined to comment afterward. He left the courthouse with a man and a woman who did not acknowledge reporters.

Porter played for UK for three seasons, from 2006-09. The business major was well known as being deeply religious and stood out for being one of the few UK players who were married during their college careers.

Porter was arrested about 1:45 a.m. Tuesday, according to documents filed in Fayette District Court.

Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said the accuser is a girl and the alleged sex acts took place when she was 14 and 15. According to police reports, the sex acts took place from August 2009 — about five months after Porter announced he was quitting the basketball team — to December 2010.

According to court documents, Porter "gave and received oral sex" on two occasions when the girl was 14. He gave and received oral sex once when the girl was 15 and "subjected the same minor to sexual contact on at least two occasions," the documents said.

Porter met the teen "when he was a group leader at a church function," court documents said.

In a 2009 interview with the Herald-Leader, Porter identified his church as Southland Christian. It was unclear whether he met the girl through a program there.

Chris Hahn, lead executive pastor at Southland, said Porter was a volunteer at the church "years ago." Hahn did not provide any other details.

"With it being the nature that it is, it's just not something we can comment on," he said.

Porter was taken to the Fayette County Detention Center after his arrest, where he was held on a $22,000 bond.

Fayette District Judge Megan Lake Thornton approved a third-party bond for Porter, which meant he could be signed out of jail by a friend or relative who agreed to take responsibility for him. Court records said Max Appel of Versailles paid $25 and signed for Porter.

Under the conditions of his release, Porter has to wear an ankle monitor and may not have contact with his accuser.

He also may not leave the state. Lowry told the judge that Porter lives part of the time in Lexington and part of the time in California.

Porter played in 90 games over three years at UK, averaging 2.7 points a game. He left UK with one year of eligibility remaining, saying he wanted to spend more time with his wife and family. He played one year for Tubby Smith and two for Billy Gillispie.

Porter is scheduled to return to district court for a preliminary hearing June 4.

Josh Kegley: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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