Court Report

KNOX COUNTY — A Barbourville man was formally sentenced Wednesday in Knox County Circuit Court for sexual abuse charges involving a child under the age of 12.

John M. Engle previously reached a plea deal that would see him plead guilty to one count of first-degree sexual abuse (victim under 12 years of age) in exchange for five years probation, and being placed on the state’s Sex Offender Registry for 20 years. Engle is also ordered to have absolutely no contact with the victim of this case moving forward.

Before accepting the plea deal, Engle was also facing one other count of first-degree sexual abuse (victim under 12 years of age), one count of first-degree rape (victim under 12 years of age), two counts of first-degree sodomy (victim under 12 years of age), and one count of first-degree incest.

Engle’s defense attorney filed a motion during Wednesday’s sentencing asking that the court allow Engle to remain in contact with his other grandchildren not involved with the case. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Brandon Jones says the state plans to fight against that motion.

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