A Caldwell County magistrate was arrested over the weekend on a DUI charge, and was also cited on a single count of sexual abuse, the Kentucky State Police said Monday.
Elbert Bennett, 72, of Fredonia, was arrested Friday evening for operating a “non-motor vehicle under influence of intoxicants,” according to Caldwell County Jail records.
Kentucky State Trooper Brandon McPherson on Monday said the initial complaint against Bennett was for sexual abuse. Police responded to that complaint shortly after 6 p.m. Friday in Fredonia.
McPherson said while police were speaking with the complainant, Bennett pulled up on a tractor — the trooper said police suspected Bennett was “under the influence of a substance.”
He was charged with a DUI and third-degree sexual abuse — both misdemeanors, McPherson said. Caldwell County Jail officials said Bennett was booked on the DUI charge; State Police issued him a citation on the other charge.
Bennett was taken to the Caldwell County Jail but has since been released. McPherson said authorities are working to determine the full scope and nature of the third-degree sexual abuse charge brought against Bennett — the investigation remains open.
Bennett currently serves as District 1 magistrate for Caldwell County Fiscal Court as well as on the Workers Compensation Board for Kentucky Association of Counties, KACo.
“We at the city of Fredonia are saddened and do not condone this behavior,” Mayor Jim Seibert said.
Caldwell County Judge-Executive Larry Curling declined to comment.