Former Fayette deputy constable spends weekend in jail as sentence in sex-trade case

kward1@herald-leader.comJune 11, 2012 

Dannie R. Pendygraft faces charges related to prostitution.

A former Fayette County deputy constable was released from the Fayette County Detention Center on Sunday night after serving a weekend jail sentence in a case in which he pleaded guilty to official misconduct and promoting prostitution.

Dannie Ray Pendygraft, 58, who had been a constable for about two years, accepted sexual favors from prostitutes in exchange for rent, police charged.

He was indicted by a Fayette County grand jury on March 21.

Pendygraft pleaded guilty in April to one count of promoting prostitution of two or more prostitutes, a felony, and one count of official misconduct, a misdemeanor. A charge of permitting prostitution was dismissed.

Pendygraft, who had served as a deputy under Joyce Clater, constable for the 1st District, was suspended by Clater several days after his arrest. He was terminated after pleading guilty, Clater said Monday night.

Last month, Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell sentenced Pendygraft to three years' probation in lieu of one year in prison on each charge, which would have run concurrently.

Among the terms of his probation was that Pendygraft serve three days in jail in addition to the one he had served. He also was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service each year and submit to random drug tests at his own expense.

He is prohibited from having firearms or weapons other than a pocket knife.

Clater said that since Pendygraft no longer will be able to carry a gun because of his felony conviction, "he can never work in this business again."

Fayette County's three elected constables serve papers notifying people to appear in court. They may appoint deputies to help with the job.

Pendygraft recently took a position with Scott Archery in Clay City, according to letters of support from his employers that were filed in his criminal case.

Police said in court documents that Pendygraft traded rent for sexual favors from two prostitutes who lived at his property on Maple Avenue and a woman who lived in an apartment on North Upper Street.

The prostitutes told police that when they got behind in their rent, Pendygraft gave them extra time to pay if they would perform oral sex on him, according to criminal complaints filed in court.

He also encouraged them to "turn tricks" to earn rent money, the documents stated. He evicted one of the women in August, court records show.

The woman who lived in the Upper Street apartment told police Dec. 22 that Pendygraft gave her "the choice of having sex with him or be evicted." Over a two-year period, that woman "had a multitude of sexual encounters with Mr. Pendygraft in order to not be evicted from her apartment," the criminal complaint stated.

All three women said Pendygraft always had his constable badge and holstered gun visible.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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