Police: Lou. man accused of abusing girls gained their trust by saying he won lottery


by WHAS11


Posted on December 11, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 6 at 10:04 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- We are learning more about a disturbing case of child abuse from Louisville’s Buchel neighborhood.

A Louisville man is accused of abusing kids who lived close by and now authorities say he may have gained their trust with tales of winning the lottery.

James Lanham was described as a neighborhood watchman. But police say he was not watching out for the safety of young girls.

Lanham now faces 22 counts of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse involving four girls in the area of Welburn Drive off Breckenridge Lane.

In documents recently released in court they show how police say Lanham gained the girls’ trust. The girls started going over to Lanham's house when his mother became ill.

In police interviews the girls say Lanham gave them money to lift up their shirts.

The girls’ parents thought the money was for yard work done on Lanham's property.

Lanham is accused of buying the girls presents - like lamps, tables and chairs from Bed Bath and Beyond. He is also accused of buying their parents gifts like a grill and dishes.  Records show he also gave the parents money and gift cards because he had won the lottery.

Lanham says he never paid the girls to lift up their shirts. He says he told them to put their shirts down.

As of Tuesday evening Lanham is still in custody; his bond is set at $50,000. He is due back in court for another hearing in January.