Saturday, October 21, 2000

Abuser's freedom raises questions

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — Joseph Hutson, 37, is supposed to have been serving a 10-year prison sentence for sexual abuse and other felonies.

        Instead, he has been hiding in Covington, making a living painting houses. Earlier this week, the mother of his abuse victim saw him and called the Kenton County Sherriff's Department.

        Deputies arrested Mr. Hutson Wednesday as he was painting a house in the Licking Riverside neighborhood. Now questions persist about why Mr. Hutson was free in the first place.

        Mr. Hutson was convicted in February of 1999 in a Campbell County Court of first-degree sexual abuse and of being a persistent felon. He had previously been convicted of four counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, second degree, and four counts of theft by deception of over $300. He had been sentenced for those convictions in August of 1993 to serve four years.

        But the persistent felon and sex-abuse charges netted him another 10 years.

        Fugitive trackers, with the help of the FBI, have been looking for Mr. Hutson for several weeks.

        The Kenton County Sheriff's Department got involved when the woman told the sheriff Mr. Hutson was supposed to be in prison for sodomizing her daughter.

        As of Friday evening he had not been issued bail and was being held at the Campbell County jail.


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