By Lily Barnette and Ülvi Gitaliyev
*TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual Abuse*
On September 23rd 2022, The Pinnacle published an article about a new, independent bookstore in Berea, named the The Taleless Dog Booksellers, opened by “Clark and Susan Buckmaster.” The article had this to say about the background of the bookstore’s owners:
“Originally from Louisville, the couple have been living in Berea for the past eight years. Prior to moving to Berea, the couple owned a café and often mused about having their very own bookstore next door.”
What The Pinnacle failed to mention was that Clark, whose full name is Alvin Clark Buckmaster III, was fired from his previous job as a nurse in Richmond in 2019. Alvin Buckmaster was originally accused of three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree by one of his patients whilst he worked as a nurse. An article from the Richmond Register details the exact crimes:
“While Buckmaster was drawing blood from the victim, he placed their hand on his body… the victim said that later, Buckmaster returned to the victim’s room with a blanket, took the victim’s top and pants off and sexually assaulted them.”
Many other local news stations, including WKYT, have also confirmed the reports. According to the Kentucky State Police, Alvin Buckmaster had allegedly committed the above mentioned crimes on October, 2018 and after an investigation, was arrested and sent to the Madison County Detention Center on May 22nd, 2019.
*TRIGGER WARNING: Sexual Abuse* Legal documents regarding the Alvin Buckmaster case.
The Berea Torch asked Alvin Buckmaster about his criminal record, to which he replied by saying, “There was some unfounded allegations that were dismissed” and denied that he had served any jail, prison, or parole time. This is not the full truth of the story. Two counts of the sexual abuse in the first degree were dismissed, but the third count was amended to attempted sexual abuse in the first degree, which he was found guilty for. Furthermore, he was conditionally discharged for 178 days of his 180 sentence.
In a phone call, The Madison County Courthouse confirmed that Alvin Clark Buckmaster III, who helps to run the bookstore, indeed was found guilty for attempted sexual abuse in the first degree indicted by a grand jury. Furthermore, The Berea Torch went to the Madison County Circuit Court to look at his criminal record to further confirm if all the information provided was correct. In fact, the Madison County Circuit Court actually allows for people to purchase copies of the record, which we have to show for evidence.
When asked for comment, a Berea College Human Resources employee said that their department is not in charge of hiring and firing when it comes to leased property by the college. Actually, leased property is not through the Human Resources Department at all. Furthermore, the President, Lyle Roelofs, was also asked for comment, to which he did not respond.