Magoffin County's deputy judge-executive was arrested Friday and accused of attempting to solicit a 15-year-old girl for sex in Lexington.
Walter Edward Hardin, 28, of Salyersville was charged after he traveled to Lexington to meet the girl, Kentucky State Police said. Hardin is the son of Magoffin County Judge-Executive Charles "Doc" Hardin, who appointed his son to the post.
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Walter Edward Hardin was charged with unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activities, a class D felony punishable by one to five years in prison.
He was arrested by the state police Electronic Crime Section as the result of an online investigation.
"As a parent, I'm devastated for my son," "Doc" Hardin told the Herald-Leader on Monday. "As judge-executive, I am treating him as I would any employee, and have placed him on administrative leave pending the resolution" of the criminal case.
The younger Hardin will receive no pay for his $35,000-a-year job as deputy judge-executive during the administrative leave. He has held the job for about 22 months, the elder Hardin said.
Walter Edward Hardin was lodged in the Fayette County Detention Center and then released Friday. The investigation is continuing.