4 life sentences for Knott Co. man for drug trafficking, sexual abuse of minors

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Knott County man has been sentenced to four consecutive life sentences on convictions of drug trafficking and sexually abusing the young children of parents he encountered while trafficking in drugs.

On Wednesday, Freddie Kennedy, Jr. was sentenced on one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone; seven counts of crossing a state line with the intent to engage in a sex act with a minor under the age of 12; and, ten counts of transporting a minor under the age of 18 across a state line with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Parole is not available in the federal system, so Kennedy must serve the entirety of his life sentence.

In February, a jury convicted Kennedy, after a two-day trial.  Evidence presented at the trial revealed that, from April 2013 to June 2015, Kennedy organized a drug conspiracy in which several others traveled to out-of-state pain clinics to illegally obtain prescription drugs. In exchange for funding these trips, Kennedy received a portion of the drugs, which he then distributed to local dealers and users in the Knott and Perry County areas.  The conspiracy was responsible for the illegal distribution of thousands of oxycodone pills.

The evidence also established that, on multiple occasions and beginning sometime around October of 2013, Kennedy had sexual contact with four minor victims, including with three who were under the age of the 10 at the time he abused them. Kennedy gained access to these victims because their parents were individuals he encountered during his drug trafficking operations.

According to evidence, Kennedy would offer to watch the young children, and then while watching them, would groom them, buy them expensive presents and take them to movies, restaurants, and stores, in an effort to gain their trust.  While some of the sexual abuse occurred at Kennedy’s residences in Perry and Knott Counties, much of it occurred during separate out-of-state trips, where he took the young children with him.  Prosecutors say Kennedy took them for overnight stays at a hotel in Indiana, where the children stayed in the same room with Kennedy.  On each occasion, Kennedy engaged in sexual acts with the minor victims.

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