Coroner pleads not guilty to sexual assault

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A central Kentucky coroner pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy Wednesday.

Police arrested Woodford County Coroner Steve Ward last month.

Investigators say the crimes happened between 1998 and 2000 and surfaced after an investigation into child pornography.

The alleged victim is now an adult.

Ward also owns the Blackburn and Ward Funeral Home in Versailles.

Ward's attorney, Patrick Nash, says his client is innocent. Minutes after Ward pleaded not guilty, Nash said Ward had no idea who the alleged victim is.

"The charges are serious charges. If these had happened, obviously he'd be aware of it. We're gonna fight this."

Ward will be back in court April 7 for a preliminary hearing at nine in the morning.

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