CATLETTSBURG An Ashland man convicted over the summer for molesting a 13-year-old girl was sentenced to serve nine years in prison Friday by a Boyd County Circuit Court Judge.

Judge George Davis sentenced 24-year-old Steve Hackworth to serve nine years in prison for three first-degree sexual abuse convictions and a conspiracy to commit evidence tampering conviction. The sentence was in accordance with the jury’s recommendation following the trial.

Hackworth was convicted of molesting the girl following a two-day trial in Boyd County Circuit Court on June 22. During the trial, it was revealed Hackworth molested the victim while she was sleeping, then bailed out of town following the incident.

Family members of the victim were able to coax Hackworth and another man accused of erasing his phone of evidence back into the area.

In a victim’s impact statement submitted to the court, the victim’s mother said her daughter will continue to survive what happened and she felt helpless to see what Hackworth put her daughter through.

“As a parent you should be able to slay every dragon and fight every fight that your child may face,” the mother wrote. “In this instance, I could not shield her from that monster. (The victim) had to face the monster herself by coming forward, by telling her best friend, by telling law enforcement, as well as counselors and a jury what had happened to her.”

The mother continued, “It has been an honor to watch my daughter rise above what happened to her and to face the court, the defendant, the jury and tell her story with grace and dignity, despite the defendant’s actions. Every parent wants to ensure that their child is protected and wants to no harm to come to their child. At times I feel that I failed that because she was harmed, but she was harmed at the hands of a third party. Mr. Hackworth needs to understand that he did not destroy my daughter and that my daughter is a survivor.”

After Hackworth has served his time — he must complete a sex-offender treatment program and 85% of his sentence before he can see the parole board — he will register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

In 2018, Hackworth was able to avoid the list after being charged with a sex offense. In that case, he pleaded down to a reduced charge of unlawful transaction with a minor — a non-sexual offense.


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