GLASGOW – After a Barren County grand jury declined to indict him, a charge of sexual abuse against a Glasgow businessman and youth sports leader has been dismissed, though the door was left open for the case to be brought back to court should further evidence emerge.
William M. “Matt” Gumm was first charged with third-degree sexual abuse after a then-16-year-old girl who had worked at his office and had done babysitting for his family accused him of trying to touch her breast while they were riding in a car together as he was taking her to babysit.
His attorney, Ken Garrett, had told the Glasgow Daily Times that the two were playing slug bug, in which one punches the other in the arm if they see a Volkswagen Beetle car first, and his hand slipped accidentally. In the girl's account, he tried to touch the breast multiple times.
The special prosecutor sought to get the charge upgraded from the misdemeanor charge to first-degree sexual abuse, which would have made it a felony.
Special Judge Martha Blair Harrison had said her decision on whether to allow the charge to be upgraded could hinge legally on whether there was an employee-employer relationship, but the Daily Times was not allowed to stay in the courtroom for a hearing to determine whether there was probable cause to forward the case to a grand jury.
Harrison issued on April 1 a Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Probable Cause document in which she described the alleged scenario in more detail, and she ultimately found there was probable cause as it related to the first-degree charge and she referred it to a grand jury to determine whether Gumm should formally be charged with the felony.
On June 21, the grand jury returned a “no true bill,” declining to issue an indictment on the felony charge. Three days later, Circuit Judge John T. Alexander issued a written order to dismiss without prejudice the misdemeanor case. The “without prejudice” clause is what allows the door to stay open on the case. The order states, though, that the votes of the grand jurors were insufficient in number to find an indictment on all charges pending against the defendant.
Garrett told the Daily Times on Wednesday afternoon, "My client and I are pleased with the work of the grand jury, their findings and conclusions, and the ultimate dismissal of the accusations by the court. We look forward to moving past this unpleasant experience."