A Frankfort man convicted of repeatedly sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl over the course of almost a year was sentenced Friday to the maximum punishment allowed by state law.
Travis A. Durrum, 31, was sentenced by Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate to spend seven decades in prison. Durrum has been in custody since July 2018 in connection with the abuse of the girl that spanned from Oct. 1, 2016, to Nov. 13, 2017. A Franklin County jury convicted Durrum in June and suggested an 80-year sentence.
Wingate heard brief comments from prosecutors before reducing the jury's recommended sentence by 10 years.
“I do believe under (state law) the maximum sentence is 70 years,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland told the court, “so we would ask that he be sentenced in accordance with the law.”
“All right. Do you have anything to state before the court imposes a sentence?” Wingate then asked Durrum.
Durrum responded that he did not.
“You are sentenced to 70 years in the state penitentiary at this time,” Wingate told him. “Good luck.”
The hearing lasted one minute and 37 seconds.
A similarly brief order of events concluded Durrum’s trial at the end of June.
After about 20 minutes of deliberation at the end of his one-day trial, jurors convicted Durrum of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sodomy, both Class B felonies, and first-degree criminal abuse of a child younger than 12 and first-degree sexual abuse of a victim younger than 12, both Class C felonies. Then jury then went back to deliberation and returned after about 20 more minutes with a recommendation that he spend 80 years in prison.
Following his conviction, Durrum attempted to nullify the recommendation and receive a new trial by arguing that the prosecution’s closing arguments bolstered the credibility of the child victim and unduly influenced the jury’s decision.
Wingate denied the request, saying that Cleveland did not improperly bolster the testimony of the child but rather was responding to “continued attacks of the child victim’s testimony and credibility,” he wrote in the order.
Durrum can appeal the outcome or serve 85 percent of the sentence before being considered for parole.
Durrum’s wife was also charged in connection with the case, but charges of physical abuse by Juanita Durrum, 26, were dismissed amid a plea agreement on a role she played in an unrelated murder case.
According to official reports, the child was in foster care before being housed with the Durrums. She was placed in the care of Juanita Durrum because relatives receive preference in foster child cases. While living with the Durrums from Oct. 1, 2016, to Nov. 13, 2017, the juvenile endured sexual and physical abuse on multiple occasions over the course of more than a year, court records stated.
Juanita Durrum was arrested along with four other people in June 2018 after gunfire erupted inside the home at 302 Alexander St. and left targets of an alleged robbery, 22-year-old Jared Miles Moore and 24-year-old Dustin Wayne Johnson, dead. She faces up to 35 years in prison on reduced charges in that case if she testifies truthfully in the prosecution of her co-defendants.
While in custody for the shooting, Juanita was indicted along with Travis Durrum for their roles in the abuse of the 7-year-old.