Former UK department head arrested for sexual abuse appears for preliminary hearing


Jack Weaver

Former UK department chair Kevin Real walks away from the stand during a preliminary hearing on charges of sodomy, incest and sexual abuse on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, at the Robert F. Stephens District Courthouse in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Lindsey Davis, Staff Reporter

On Oct. 7 at 8:36 a.m., Kevin Real entered the courtroom for his preliminary hearing following his arrest in early September.

On Sept. 8, Real, 65, was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of of a victim under the age of 12 years old in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree and incest by forcible compulsion/of someone incapable of giving consent under the age of 18. Real is the former UK Department of Communication chair and has worked at the university since 2002.

According to the arrest citation, Real allegedly sexually assaulted the victim for the first time when they were six years old and again in July 2022.

At his arraignment hearing, his bond was originally set at $30,000 full cash but was reduced to $15,000. Real was required to remain at home and have no contact with the alleged victim, among other conditions.

Real’s attorney, Christopher A. Spedding, filed a motion for a change in conditions of his bond.

According to the motion, “the allegations that have been made against him (Real) have left him bewildered. He strenuously denies that there is any merit to any of the allegations that have been made against him.”

It also said that Real was convicted of a bank robbery in federal court in the mid-1980s and sentenced to serve five years in prison.

Spedding said that Real has been sober ever since and needed to be released from home incarceration in order to attend his 12-step recovery meetings.

Spedding said, “the inability to attend these meetings is taking an emotional toll on Dr. Real.”

After the motion was presented, attorneys for both the defendant and the plaintiff approached the judge. After minutes of deliberation, a conclusion was made on the new conditions of Real’s bond.

Fayette District Judge John Tackett ruled that Real is now released from house arrest. He will be electronically monitored and is not allowed to leave Fayette County or step foot within 1,000 feet of the house or school of the alleged victim.