Former Kentucky State Trooper Jerry Clanton is pushing to get his job back following his termination for having sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl. He called the so-called relationship “a moral mjstake.”
In a transcript of the Kentucky State Police Trial Board testimony obtained by WDRB, Clanton, a married man, argues that he recognizes his error and has changed his ways.
“I made a moral mistake. And, I've gotten right with my family,” Clanton says.
"I recognize that it is an embarrassment to the State Police. But I have not compromised myself in the fact that, in my mind, all I was doing was making a moral mistake."
Clanton, 33 at the time of the assault, has maintained throughout the scandal that he thought the girl was 18 when he began to pursue a relationship that turned sexual. It began with the two watching martial arts on TV—while Clanton was on duty—at the girl’s family home. Clanton admitted to four subsequent sexual encounters, which took place on the side of the road in his squad car.
"I would never have gone over there. I would have never spoken to her, never texted her, never anything had I thought she was anything but 18," Clanton says.
But Capt. Matt Feltner, the KSP Commander of Legal Services, was having none of it.
"You can't put a 15-year-old girl in a car, drive her up in the middle of nowhere and have sex with her. I mean that doesn't have to be written out somewhere to know it's completely wrong and outside the lines," Feltner says, according to the transcript.
Another former officer, Stratford Young, was also fired for having sexual relations with the same victim. Feltner insists that Young was the first to pursue the relationship, and that he introduced him to the teenager. Additionally, two more officers are believed to have been involved with the girl. They have both resigned.
The victim has expressed her anger that Clanton is not in jail. Her father tells WDRB that he is equally upset. A grand jury will decide whether or not to indict Clanton, though no jury date has been set.