New information details Henry County man’s sex abuse charges

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By Taylor Riley

Editor’s note: This is a graphic story. Please proceed with caution when reading to young children or to anyone reading who could be triggered by stories of sexual assault.

An Eminence man was in Henry County Circuit Court again this week for a preliminary hearing on his sexual abuse and kidnapping charges.

Roderick Whitney , 51, went before Judge Diane Wheeler on Monday after police say he kidnapped three girls and sexually abused one of those juveniles.

At the hearing, a witness in the case, Eminence Police Department Detective John Bailey, went before the court to give testimony based on his investigation.

Det. Bailey said on July 26 of this year, the mother of the 10-year-old alleged victim came to Eminence Police saying her daughter was sexually abused by Whitney on the previous day.

The mother said her daughter and two friends, 7 and 8 years old respectively, were playing together at the apartment complex that they all lived in together in Eminence. She said Whitney, who she knew and who had been to the residence previously, was there dropping off her laundry.

Bailey said based on regulatory recommendations, the department did not take the statements of the juveniles and gave the case to a government agency in Louisville that specialized in the matter.

In statements given by the children to the agency and brought before the court by Bailey, the girls said that Whitney, who was at the complex with the girls, told them to come with him to “clean his house” and he would then take them to the pool. Bailey said the statements indicated that the girls said that they needed to tell their mother where they were going, and Whitney said he already spoke to each of them and it was “OK” to go with him to his residence.

Bailey said the statements by the girls said they “felt uneasy” and didn’t want to go with Whitney, but he wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. The 7 and 8-year-old girls indicated that Whitney “picked them up” by the back of the neck or shirt, put them into the back of the car and locked the doors.

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When the 10-year-old juvenile walked away from Whitney’s car, statements said Whitney grabbed her by the arm and put her in the front passenger’s side seat. 

Statements from a male family member said that he saw this happen from an upstairs window and the witness said he came down the stairs but the three girls were already gone in the car with Whitney. The male family member said he alerted the mother of the 10-year-old girl and the grandfather but they didn’t call the police or go after the girls “at the time,” according to Bailey.

According to statements given by the girls and addressed to the court by Bailey, Whitney took them across Eminence to his home at Hillcrest Drive. Once there, according to statements, he gave the girls cleaning supplies–a toothbrush to clean the carpet for the 10-year-old and sponges to wash the walls for the 7 and 8-year-old. As the 10-year-old girl bent down to clean the carpet, Whitney allegedly sexually assaulted her. 

The two younger girls heard yelling and begged Whitney to stop, according according to statements, but Whitney said he was the “boss,” according to Bailey. The 10-year-old mouthed “help me,” but the other children were too scared to do anything. In statements, Whitney brought all three children back to their apartment complex one or two hours later.

Bailey said the three children were interviewed separately and the stories matched up and the girl’s stories corroborated each other.

According to Bailey, a witness who lived in the building told police that after the children were back at the residence and the 10-year-old’s mother left for a funeral, he was asked to look after her. The child then told him what allegedly happened at Whitney’s residence earlier in the day. The witness then told the child’s mother and she went to the Eminence Police Department the next day.

The mothers of the children were interviewed by police and they gave statements saying that they had not given Whitney permission to take the children from the home to his residence across town. 

The 10-year-old’s mother said that Whitney had visited the family’s home on July 4 and had been to their home again the night before the alleged incident to do laundry for her at his home. He then came back to the apartment complex on July 25, the report said when the alleged incident occurred, to drop off the laundry.

Judge Wheeler granted probable cause for the case to move forward to the grand jury and Whitney is being held on a $25,000 cash bond at the Oldham County Jail.




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