Kenton County jury convicts man on ‘horrific’ underage rape charges

Kenton County’s top prosecutor says the jurors made real sacrifices of themselves while doing their civic duty and should be commended.
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 10:09 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Ky. (FOX19) - A Kenton County jury needed just 30 minutes’ deliberation on Wednesday to convict Joshua Turner on underage rape and sodomy charges.

But the jurors went through hell to get there, according to Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders.

Police arrested Turner, of Park Hills, in September 2020 after authorities say he filmed himself having sex with two minors under the age of 12.

Turner’s girlfriend suspected he had been cheating on her and inadvertently discovered the porn. She turned him in.

“Watching a child be molested on a video recording is as disturbing as watching someone get murdered on a video recording,” Sanders said last year.

The jurors had to watch those videos during the course of the trial, something the prosecutor says put many in tears.

“It was painful for me to watch, painful for my staff to watch,” Sanders said on Wednesday. “I’m sure it was shocking and painful for those jurors... Each one of those jurors sacrificed a little bit of themselves to come here and do their civic duty to make sure that a just sentence was imposed.”

The jury recommended a sentence of several consecutive life sentences. A judge will decide whether to accept that sentence.

Turner left the court abruptly after he heard the sentence recommendation.

“The harsh reality of what he has done maybe set in on him, and I hope he spends every day of those life sentences thinking about the horrible trauma he’s inflicted on his victims, on their families and upon the jurors that had to sit through this case,” Sanders said.

One of the victim’s grandparents, who did not want to be identified, said they are ecstatic with the verdict.

“He got what he deserves,” the grandparent said, “and I hope he never sees the light of day again.”

The prosecutor’s message for other would-be offenders?

“Anybody out there thinking about victimizing a little girl in Kenton County needs to know we will bury them under the prison.”

Turner is scheduled to appear back in court on Sept. 27 for his sentencing.

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