A judge has ruled that, despite his case being dismissed, Billy Joe Miles cannot have his record expunged.
The retired Owensboro businessman and former University of Kentucky Board Chairman was indicted on charges of raping a home health care worker. However, just before the case went to trial in January, the charges were dropped due to credibility issues with the prosecution’s main witness in the case.
In making his ruling, the judge sided with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office which acted as special prosecutor on the case. The AG’s office recommended the case be dismissed “without prejudice,” meaning the government could reopen the case. It also means the 78-year-old Miles, who is battling dementia, isn’t eligible to have his record expunged.
Miles family had hoped to clear his name before he died. His attorney Scott Cox of Louisville asked the judge to dismiss the case “with prejudice” which would have erased the charges from public record. Cox told WKU Public Radio that the family still feels vindicated.
"This is a 78-year-old man who showed up to court on the trial date, ready to try the case, and the prosecuting witness was absent and wanted the case dismissed and refused to go forward, so we feel that he's been completely exonerated," Cox stated.
In a February 16 order, Special Judge Kelly Easton said he felt that state law required him to accept the recommendation of the government.
In a statement, the attorney general’s office said “out of respect for all victims, seeking dismissal “without prejudice” is the standard practice of our office, and is the default under Kentucky law.”