Commonwealth v. James Edward McPeak
Pulaski County Circuit Court
Case No. 12.708
Tried to a Jury by K. Mike Fleenor, Jr.
Aggravated Sexual Battery, Serving 20 Years
James Edward McPeak befriended a woman and her 12 year old daughter. They had been evicted from their home and McPeak took them in. Although at first it appeared that he was simply being considerate, unfortunately it was later learned that he had designs on the young 12 year old girl. Either not knowing or not being concerned, the mother started leaving the 12 year old with McPeak. Short periods grew longer and eventually she was left overnight. On one such occasion McPeak climbed onto the couch where the child was sleeping and fondled her inappropriately. The little girl told him to stop. McPeak did stop, but told her “Don’t tell anyone or I’ll go to jail.” He also later told her that what he did, “Made him feel young.”
McPeak was indicted for one count of aggravated sexual battery. He refused to admit what he had done so Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor presented the case to a jury. Such cases are difficult and risky because it requires that young children tell the story of what happened to a group of 12 strangers. It is natural to feel embarrassed and ashamed even though the victim did nothing wrong at all. Fleenor and representatives of the Women’s Resource Center worked with the young girl, practiced her testimony in the court room and made every effort to make the process as easy as possible. When the time came for her to testify, she did an excellent job and showed great courage in doing it.
The jury must have believed her as they convicted McPeak and sentenced him to the maximum sentence of 20 years in the state penitentiary.
Southwest Times: Article