FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A former Franklin County constable, Thomas Banta, accused in a prostitution ring, wasn’t in court Friday, but his co-defendant, Hendra Valentine was.
Both were indicted on charges of kidnapping and impersonating a police officer. Valentine agreed to a plea deal, to testify against Banta.
New court documents claim police officers and legislators were clients of Thomas Banta. A witness said in a statement she applied for a job at Banta Security and Investigations, and Banta solicited her to work as a prostitute. According to the documents, Banta told her that he had “upscale” men who were married, but wanted some excitement on the side. He described them as legislators and police officers. The investigation goes back to February 2015, an accused prostitute says she started working for Banta back in the 8th grade. She also says she would generally prostitute for Banta approximately two days a week, and on those days Banta would try to fit in as many clients as he could. She says she would have sexual encounters with 15-20 men per day. In those documents, the accused prostitute also said Banta arranged for her to have sex with minors. Banta’s attorney says it’s unfair to his client to make these documents public now.
Banta and Valentine are also accused of posing as detectives, arresting a “young boy,” to quote the documents, and claiming he had stolen a safe containing $50,000. They are accused of kidnapping in that case. Valentine pleased guilty Friday, and prosecutors say he will now testify against Banta.