Lou Anna Red Corn was sworn in Monday afternoon as the first female Commonwealth’s Attorney for Fayette County in a ceremony that involved her being wrapped in a blanket belonging to her late mother.
The wrapping of the blanket is an Osage Indian Nation tradition that was carried out at Fayette County Circuit Court in front of more than 100 current and retired judges, police officers and lawyers from around Central Kentucky.
Red Corn had been first assistant to Fayette County Attorney Ray Larson since 2006 and has lived in Lexington since 1977. Her career with Fayette County spans 30 years and includes trying more than 220 felony cases, including 51 homicides.
“My office will always be a force for good. Especially for victims and the most vulnerable victims: children and the elderly,” Red Corn said Monday. “We will never forget our obligation and our duty to be fair.”
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Red Corn earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky and then a law degree. She joined the Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in 1987 and has focused on cases involving child homicide, child sexual abuse and child exploitation. One notable case involved priest Leonard Nienabor. Neinabor was convicted in 1994 on 10 counts of child abuse. The abuse happened between 1964 and 1977 and involved children ages 4 to 17. Nienabor was 87 at the time of his conviction. He was allowed to serve his sentence in a Roman Catholic treatment center.
Red Corn also is a founding board member of the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass.
Larson, Red Corn’s predecessor, held the position for nearly 32 years. At the height of his career, Larson managed 30 employees and prosecuted 1,500 multiple-count felonies a year. Larson also received both his bachelor’s and law degrees from UK.
Red Corn’s sister, Rox Anna Mudge, was involved in the wrapping of the blanket Monday. Fighting back tears, she recounted how driven Red Corn had been even as a young woman.
“It’s an honor for the family,” Mudge said. “She’s always worked hard; long hours.”
Red Corn is from Tulsa, Okla. She was appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin on Sept. 22.
Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso