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Incest charges dismissed against local man

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By Lisa King

All charges have been dropped against a Shelbyville man who was arrested in April 2008 and charged with incest.

Roy I. Cissell, 56, of Shelbyville had been charged with four counts of incest with someone under 18 years old after a year-long investigation by the Kentucky State Police.

Cissell denied the charges and pleaded not guilty, and on March 23, two days before a jury trial was to begin, his attorney, Nathan Riggs of Shelbyville, received a motion from the prosecutor to dismiss all charges.

Commonwealth's Attorney Laura Donnell said her office made the motion to dismiss the case because the primary witness against Cissell was unavailable.

"Sometimes when you have a witness that's unavailable, and in some circumstances, it's better to make a motion to dismiss without prejudice than it is to make a motion to continue," Donnell said.

Her office’s petition to dismiss the charges without prejudice means she would retain the right to refile at a later date.

But Circuit Judge Charles Hickman sided with a motion by the defense and ruled that the case would be dismissed with prejudice, which means Cissell cannot be charged with the same crime twice.

Riggs’ motion included the results of a lie detector test that Cissell had passed.

The test, administered by retired FBI polygraph examiner Walt Jones, asked Cissell very specific questions about the types of sexual conduct of which he was accused and concluded that Cissell was telling the truth.

"It is the opinion of the examiner, based on the review of the polygraph charts, that no deception was indicated," Jones wrote.

Said Donnell: "I plan to appeal it. If the appeal overturns the judge's decision, then, yes, it will be brought back with the same charges."

Neither Cissell nor Riggs could be reached for comment.

Cissell had been indicted as a result of an allegation made by a then-15-year-old family member, who accused him of engaging in deviant sexual activity.

According to court records, Cissell told investigators that that he did not have any contact with the boy until he was 11 years old and denied the accusations.