Wha? You can’t offer to trade girls for fattening hogs anymore?
HARLAN — A two-time candidate for governor who is charged with attempting to “entice” a 13-year-old girl and her 11-year-old sister to engage in “illegal sexual activity” says the allegations against him stem from a misunderstanding.
According to the complaint, the father of the two sisters contacted the county attorney about the incident, which allegedly occurred on Monday. The Harlan County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hensley on Monday.
However, Hensley said during an interview Tuesday at the Harlan County Detention Center that the incident was a misunderstanding.
Hensley said he was grocery shopping at Don’s Supersaver in Harlan when he saw the two girls and their grandmother.
“The one girl turned around and looked at me and smiled,” Hensley said. “I said ‘Ma’am, do you want to trade them girls for a good fattening hog?’ and then I went on into the meat department. That was all that was said.”
(The phrase may be a reference to the long-ago practice of giving farm animals as part of a dowry.)
Hensley said the grandmother became upset and went to tell the girls’ father about his comment.
He said he followed the family out of the store and then to the courthouse trying to apologize.
He meant nothing sexual, he said, and uses the phrase often as a joke and a means to “cut up with people” in the county, where he is well-known for his unorthodox campaign style. Just before going into the grocery store, he made the same comment to a woman and young girl in the bank, he said.
When asked what the phrase means to him he said: “It was a joke. I was just being friendly, having fun. I meant nothing by it.”
Harlan County sheriff’s deputies arrested Hensley about 6 p.m. Monday. He is charged with first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor, a Class B felony that can carry a sentence of 10 years to 20 years.
All kidding aside, this is insipid. If you raise your daughters to pee their britches anytime an adult cracks a joke around them, you’re sentencing them to a life, at best, on an analysts couch.