LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The former Assistant Director of the Limestone County Community Corrections Program pleaded guilty on Tuesday, according to Alabama Attorney General (AG) Steve Marshall.

James Michael Hardaway, 64, of Athens, pleaded guilty to one ethics violation and one count of custodial sexual misconduct. Marshall said Hardaway was employed at the facility at the time of the offenses.

“No one is above the law, especially those who are in positions of authority,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall. “Our community corrections programs are an important part of our criminal justice system and must be administered by individuals who are committed to the good of those within their care.”

In 2020, Hardaway was charged with:

  • three counts of custodial sexual misconduct by engaging in sexual conduct with three different victims who were in the custody of the Limestone County Community Corrections program while he was an officer of that program; and
  • three counts of using his position as a public employee of the Limestone County Community Corrections program to solicit or receive sexual services from these three victims.

Hardaway retired from his position in the program in 2019, prior to the charges.

Marshall announced that Hardaway was sentenced to 20 years, split to serve two years in the Alabama Department of Corrections. He will also be required to register as a sex offender and abide by all requirements of Alabama’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

The AG’s Criminal Trials Division presented evidence to a Limestone County grand jury in 2020, which resulted in Hardaway’s indictment on ethics violation and custodial sexual misconduct charges.

Marshall commended his Criminal Trials Division for its successful prosecution of this case.