An Otoe County prosecutor has amended sexual assault charges against a Palmyra man to reflect a 1985 conviction of sexual assault in Wood River, Neb.

Kenneth D. Cranford, 68, is charged with assaulting a 10-year-old girl who was walking home from school.

An Otoe County man accused of sexually assaulting a Palmyra girl who was walking home from school on Aug. 20 was previously convicted of first degree sexual assault.

Court records indicate that Kenneth D. Cranford was 43 and living in Wood River, Neb., when he was arrested in 1985.

He later entered a plea of no contest in Hall County to sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl who was attending Wood River High School.

Cranford was sentenced to three to six years in prison.

Cranford, now 68, was living in Palmyra on Aug. 20. Investigators say he asked the 10-year-old girl to help him unload boxes from his van.

Otoe County sheriff's deputies say Cranford put his hands beneath the girl's clothing.
When she tried to get away, he picked her up and placed her in the cab of the van, where the assault continued.

The girl told investigators that she was released when another car pulled up near the van, but said Cranford told her not to tell anyone what had happened.

At an arraignment Oct. 9, Special Otoe County Prosecutor Julie Smith Hogancamp enhanced the charges against Cranford to reflect the prior charge. If convicted, he faces a mandatory five year sentence and a maximum of 50 years in prison.
Cranford entered a not guilty plea to the charge and trial is set for Jan. 8.