Jury recommends 20 years in sex abuse case

Clifford Howell Jr./Kenton County Detention Center

COVINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – In the fourth Kenton County criminal case since trials resumed in August, a jury found 63-year-old Clifford E. Howell Jr. guilty of six counts of first-degree sexual abuse involving two child victims who were under the age of 12 at the time, according to jail and court records.

After the sentencing phase of the trial, the same jury then recommended Howell serve 20 years in prison, the maximum under Kentucky law

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Howell will be required to complete sex offender treatment before being eligible for parole. He is also required to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life.

The case began on July 4, 2018 when the Covington Police Department received a report of a sexual assault from a child victim who knew her attacker, Clifford Howell.

Det. Adam Uhl was assigned to investigate. During the course of the investigation two juvenile females disclosed Howell sexually assaulted them on multiple occasions. Det. Uhl arranged for a phone call between one of the victims and Howell. In the call, Howell apologized and acknowledged sexual conduct occurred.

Howell was subsequently brought in for questioning and admitted to committing some of the sexual acts the victims described to police.

The case was indicted by the Kenton Grand Jury on September 20, 2018, and went to trial before Kenton Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Lape in the First Division of the Kenton Circuit Court.

The two victims testified as did Sgt. Justin Bradbury, Det. Adam Uhl, and Dr. Kathi Makoroff. Through the testimony of the officers, the jury was presented with statements made by Howell during the controlled calls and in his interview.

The jury found Howell guilty of six counts and the the 20 years.

Howell will appear again before Judge Lape, for formal, final sentencing on Dec. 8, 2020.