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Woman pleads guilty to misdemeanor in sex abuse case

MURRAY – Sarah Pawlik, a Murray woman who was charged with first-degree sexual abuse in April, may not serve any time after accepting an offer from Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney James Burkeen to plead guilty to a lesser offense.  

The 31-year-old was arrested in April following an investigation by the Calloway County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) regarding an accusation of sexual assault made by her 13-year-old son in February, who, according to the complaint warrant, initially came into Pawlik’s home as a foster child and was subsequently adopted.

Booking photo of Melissa Pawlik courtesy of the Calloway County Jail

By the victim’s account to CCSO Deputy Jacob Hamm, the incident had occurred a couple of weeks prior. Pawlik initiated the assault by taking the boy’s hand and putting it on her rear end. When he pulled away, according to the deputy’s affidavit, she said, “What is wrong? Do you not like me?” Pawlik unzipped her top and exposed herself to the boy before she “got on top of him and started humping him.” 

The teenager told Hamm he was scared, so he “just laid there quietly,” and after approximately one hour, Pawlik got up and went to her bedroom. Fear also kept the boy from telling anyone about the incident. After two weeks, he told his girlfriend, and her older sister contacted the CCSO.

Pawlik was indicted in June for first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D felony, but on Friday, she accepted an offer from the Commonwealth to plead guilty to third-degree criminal abuse, a Class A misdemeanor, and agreed to a recommended sentence of 12 months. Monday, Calloway Circuit Judge Andrea Moore accepted the plea agreement and conditionally discharged Pawlik’s sentence for two years, meaning she will serve no time provided she does not violate the conditions of the plea agreement and does not commit any additional offenses during that time period.  

Per the terms of the agreement, Pawlik cannot communicate or have contact with the victim and cannot serve as a foster parent for the duration of the conditional discharge period, but the Commonwealth did not object to her request to move to Grand Rapids, Michigan, with her husband, Logan.

Sentinel Staff

Jessica Paine
I’m Jessica Paine, founder of The Murray Sentinel. You may know me from my time as a citizen journalist, running the Calloway Covid-19 Count page on Facebook, or you may be familiar with my more recent work for another local news outlet. Being that I’m “from here,” you may have known me since I was “knee-high to a grasshopper,” although you knew me as Jessica Jones. But whether you know me or not, I’m glad you found your way here.


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