Leader Blues

Thursday, October 04, 2007

TOP STORY >>Cabot man sentenced to 23 years

Leader staff writer

A Cabot man was found guilty Friday in Lonoke County Circuit Court of rape and sexual assault of a child and sentenced to a long prison term.

Kenneth Lemaster, 29, was charged with rape in 2006, after his 5-year-old victim exhibited behavior consistent with sexual abuse and then later told a counselor that she had been abused.

The jury sentenced him to 23 years for rape and 10 years for sexual assault but recommended that the sentences be served concurrently.

Although Lemaster was only convicted of raping one child, several adult victims testified against him in a two-day trial that ended late Friday afternoon.

Those victims, who came forward after an article about the charges ran in The Leader in August, said Lemaster had been sexually abusive to children of both sexes for 18 years. Lemaster is the stepson of Cabot Alderman Becky Lemaster.

Alderman Lemaster said in August that the evidence against her stepson would not support a guilty verdict.

“We still maintain his innocence and we’ll be going through the appeal process,” she said Tuesday.

Lonoke County Prosecutor Lona McCastlain said Lemaster still faces charges of raping another child. No court date has been set in that case.

Until he was convicted, Lemaster was employed by Cabot WaterWorks.

On Monday, a notice was posted that his job is open.