Crime

Laurel County couple charged in rape of girl, 13

A Laurel County woman and her boyfriend have been arrested on rape-related charges after a 13-year girl living in their home became pregnant.

Joyce Blanton, 35, of London allegedly told investigators that she learned of the pregnancy several months ago, but she lived in the same home with her boyfriend, Franklin Brown. Blanton had planned to pretend to be the birth mother after the baby was born, Laurel Sheriff's Office spokesman Gilbert Acciardo said Wednesday.

Blanton was arrested Tuesday on three counts of complicity to commit rape. Acciardo said Blanton had not provided prenatal care for the girl.

Brown, 45, of London was arrested Wednesday on three counts of first-degree rape. Both were taken to the Laurel County Correctional Center.

Acciardo said a sheriff's detective and social service workers investigated an anonymous complaint on May 3 that a 13-year-old child was pregnant.

Investigators determined that a 14-year-old, mildly mentally disabled girl, was 71/2 months pregnant.

The girl has been removed from the home by Cabinet for Health and Family Services and was placed in the custody of a relative.

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