Former Franklin Co. constable answers to prostitution charges

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A former Franklin County constable appeared in court Friday morning.

Thomas Banta is accused of running a prostitution ring out of his business and home.

His attorney, Guthrie True, entered a not guilty plea for him.

"I think there's a lot of politics that appears to me to be going on here," noted True. "Tom's son was a candidate for sheriff against the sitting sheriff in a very aggressive primary. He lost a very narrow primary and shortly after the election is over, this investigation began."

The investigation into Banta began in February of last year with complaints that men were paying for sex at his security business on Louisville Road. The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office was also contacted by a woman in jail who claimed to have information on Banta.

A grand jury indicted Banta for promoting prostitution, kidnapping, and impersonating a peace officer. Banta was arraigned in Franklin Circuit Court at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

A second man charged in the case, Hendra Valentine, was also in court. He pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and impersonating a police officer.