BARBOURVILLE – A Barbourville man was arrested Saturday for kidnapping, rape and wanton endangerment after reportedly picking up a 12-year-old girl, who was riding her bicycle, and having her drive his vehicle.

According to a press release from Kentucky State Police, the initial investigation indicates a 12-year-old girl was riding her bicycle on Whitesburg Hollow Road in Barbourville.

The report says Benny Hammons, 70, approached the girl while he was in his vehicle. The girl was asked to drive his vehicle and Hammons placed her bike inside of the car, according to the report from KSP.

Hammons is accused of sexually assaulting the 12-year-old girl while she was in the vehicle.

The 12-year-old girl was driving on Whitesburg Hollow Road when she observed a police officer patrolling in the area at which time she attempted to drive toward him. Hammons grabbed the wheel and the vehicle drove off the roadway and into a ditch, the press release said.

Hammons was arrested and lodged into the Knox County Detention Center. He is charged with first-degree wanton endangerment, kidnapping-minor, and first-degree rape.

Kentucky State Police, Post 10 Harlan was contacted by the Knox County Sheriff’s Department to assist in the investigation at 9:50 p.m. Saturday.

If anyone has more information about this case, you can contact Post 10 Harlan at 606-573-3131. Tpr. Sidney Wagner is continuing the investigation.

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