Saturday, June 7, 2003

Former governor's aide indicted on porn charges

The Associated Press

LEXINGTON - A federal grand jury has indicted a one-time personal assistant to former Gov. A.B. "Happy" Chandler on child pornography charges.

Thomas Arthur Manus, who has spent the last 17 years living in Woodford County under the name Reuben Roberts, is accused of using a young girl to create Internet pornography. The girl was sometimes subjected to "sadistic abuse," according to the indictment filed Thursday.

Manus, 57, is also charged with 45 counts of using a computer to receive child pornography.

Manus was first arrested in late April and charged with 12 counts of sexual abuse, which stunned colleagues at the Woodford Sun, for which he wrote a gardening column. He also faces child sexual-abuse charges in Fayette County and in Orange County, Calif.

Manus, who is in the Woodford County jail, was known as a simple man, a Quaker who tended gardens, cared for children and lived an exemplary life.

During the 1980s he was an assistant to Happy Chandler, who had been Kentucky governor for two terms, 1935-39 and 1955-59.

In 1999, he was appointed to the Versailles Human Rights Commission, several years after he set up a homeless shelter in that city.

Manus could face up to 20 years in prison for each of the five counts accusing him of using a minor child to create pornography.

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