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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2007
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Hartselle man indicted on sex charges

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

A Morgan County grand jury indicted a Hartselle man on a first-degree sexual abuse charge involving a child.

The state attorney general's office presented information against Billy Ray Hopkins to the grand jury.

Authorities allege that Hopkins, 55, of Cagle Road, Hartselle, subjected a child under 12 to sexual contact.

An investigator with the attorney general's office arrested Hopkins in September.

At the time of Hopkins' arrest Attorney General Troy King said, "This is a case involving serious allegations of a sex crime involving a small child. I want to reassure the citizens of Morgan County and throughout Alabama that we are committed to acting swiftly and aggressively to protect children from those who would harm and abuse them.

The Sheriff's Department and Hartselle and Huntsville police departments assisted King's investigations division.

Hopkins remains free on a $50,000 bond, according to personnel at the county jail.

In another case, assistant prosecutors in King's office were in Decatur earlier this year prepared to try former Somerville Police Chief Chris Landers on sex charges involving children.

Landers pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree abuse and enticing a child into a room or vehicle for sexual purposes.

He is serving an 18-year sentence in a state prison.

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