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Rife to remain in custody

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LEXINGTON – A detention hearing was held in federal court last week regarding a Salyersville-native accused of sexually assaulting a juvenile while in Cambodia, with the case bound over to the grand jury. 

Micky Rife, age 35, formerly of Salyersville, was accused by a Homeland Security agent of violating federal laws concerning engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. The criminal complaint filed on January 24 alleges while Rife was in Cambodia teaching, from September 2012 until December 2018, he had sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl, and that an investigation had uncovered other allegations of sexual abuse regarding Rife, dating back to 2013. 

On Thursday, January 31, in a preliminary hearing United States Magistrate Judge Matthew A. Stinnett ordered that the matter be bound over for consideration by the grand jury. 

Judge Stinnett also heard arguments from the United States, asking Rife remain in custody based on the risk of nonappearance and danger. The judge issued an order the following day, stating that substantial foreign ties were not enough reason to list him as a flight risk, however, agreed that he could be considered a danger to the community. 

“While Rife was able to partially attack the reliability of certain allegations during the hearing, such a vast amount of witnesses alongside years of similar reports, at the very least, does not favor release,” Judge Stinnett wrote in his order, in which he granted the U.S.’s motion for Rife to remain in custody. 

At press time, he is still in federal custody at the Franklin County Regional Jail. No charges have been filed in the case. 

Editor's Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
 

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Heather Oney