Ex-employee of Forest Hill Military Academy indicted in sex-abuse cases

jwarren@herald-leader.comSeptember 6, 2013 

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A Bourbon County grand jury has indicted a former employee of the Forest Hill Military Academy at Millersburg on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

The indictment, returned on Monday, charges Lawrence "Clay" Hammer IV with three alleged incidents involving sexual contact with two individuals under age 18.

The incidents allegedly occurred between September 2010 and August 2012, while Hammer was employed in a "position of authority" at Millersburg, the indictment says.

Hammer no longer works at the academy and now may be living in Indiana, according to information in the indictment.

Forest Hill is a small, military-style boarding school at Millersburg for boys and girls in grades six through high school.

It is operated by the U.S. Army Cadet Corps, a private organization not connected with the U.S. Army. The organization purchased the campus of the former Millersburg Military Institute in 2008 and moved its headquarters to the campus shortly afterward. It held summer camps for cadets there until opening Forest Hills on the site in August 2012.

The indictment charges that Hammer subjected an individual under age 18 to sexual contact in August 2011 while employed as captain at the facility.

The indictment's other two counts allege similar incidents involving another person under age 18 that occurred between September and December 2010 and in August 2012.

The victims are not identified by name.

The indictment says that in each instance Hammer was employed as a captain and "through that position of authority" subjected the two under-age victims to sexual contact.

First-degree sexual abuse is a Class D felony.

An Army Cadet Corps spokesman declined comment on the indictment Friday.

A Pendleton County woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Cadet Corps in March, charging that her son and daughter were sexually molested in separate incidents by a camp instructor and a fellow cadet while attending summer cadet camps at Millersburg. Those incidents occurred in 2010 and 2012, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff alleged that when her daughter reported being abused, corps staff members took no preventive action and pressured her not to file a police report.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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