Parksville man to face 20 years for sex crimes involving a minor family member

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Courtesy of the Boyle County Detention Center
Darrell Cornett

What was anticipated to be a bond revocation hearing for Darrell Cornett took a turn Tuesday, with the defendant accepting a deal and pleading guilty on Tuesday.

Cornett, 51, of Tennessee Ridge Road in Parksville, is accused of having sexual intercourse with an underaged relative. He pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and sodomy, and incest or forcible compulsion on someone incapable of consent or under 18. He was offered 10 years each for the charges of rape and sodomy, to run concurrently, and 10 years for the charge of incest, to run consecutively, for a total of 20 years. He will also have to register as a sex offender. 

Cornett returns to the Boyle County Circuit Court in March to be sentenced. 

Email newsletter signup

Adam Bleile, his attorney, said the plea deal was “well thought out.”

“There’s been long discussions with the Commonwealth’s Attorneys office,” Bleile said. “There were strengths and weaknesses on both sides. It’s been a strain on family members all the way around.”

Bleile said the deal had been discussed with everyone involved before being presented to the court.

According to files in the Boyle County Circuit Clerk’s Office, Cornett was reported to the Boyle County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 11, 2015, after his wife found him and the juvenile together.

Through the course of the investigation, the juvenile told deputies incidents with Cornett had happened on more than one occasion, starting in 2011. Multiple types of sex acts took place and the victim said Cornett used threats against her if she refused to engage in certain sexual acts with him.

The files also state he would make her describe incidents of past abuse while he would record them to an iPod-type device, uploading them to a computer.

Cornett was ordered to not have contact with the victim on Oct. 4, 2016.

An affidavit, signed by the victim, who is now an adult, stated that on Nov. 14, 2017, Cornett came to her apartment to pick her up. She had initiated contact with him to ask about the status of the case and because she wanted to see if he “showed any indication of redeemable qualities.”

“The defendant stated he did not have to testify and stated he would put blame on me as a victim, bring my biological parents into the case and he had a video from when I was younger he would use against me,” the affidavit reads.

It also states that Cornett paid her $50 to stay quiet and that he offered to help her financially if she dropped the case, before returning her to her apartment.

On Dec. 28, 2017, the Commonwealth’s Attorneys Office entered a motion to revoke his bond.

“I want you to know, this is an option you have, to take the plea or go to trial,” Peckler told Cornett Tuesday.

Cornett said he felt that taking the plea was his best option and that his wife, who was not in court, knew he might sign a document like the proposed plea and agreed it was a good idea.

Before his sentencing, Cornett will undergo a sex offender risk assessment, which will be reported back to the court. Bleile said that is a part of the sex offender registry aspect of the case.