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Three charges dismissed against Boonsboro man accused of sexually assaulting girl

November 10, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A Washington County Circuit Court judge Thursday dismissed three charges against a Boonsboro man accused of sexually assaulting a girl in 2007 and 2008, but he could still face life in prison.

Judge Donald E. Beachley granted a defense motion to dismiss a charge of sex abuse of a minor as a continuing course of conduct, which carries a maximum 30-year sentence, against Gerald Wayne Hubbard, 68, of 20726 Park Hall Road.

Lesser charges of fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault were also dismissed.

However, Hubbard still faces a charge of first-degree rape, for which a conviction would carry a maximum sentence of life. He also remains charged with second-degree rape, second- and third-degree sex offenses and sex abuse of a minor.

Hubbard's trial was to have started this week, but the defense last week was granted a continuance, and it is now scheduled to begin March 5, 2012, according to court records.

Hubbard posted bail following his arrest last year.

The misdemeanor fourth-degree sexual assault and second-degree assault charges were filed "outside the statutory limit," meaning they were not filed within a year of the alleged incidents, Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said.

The child abuse as a continuing course of conduct charge was dismissed for technical reasons, Wilson said.

"If you charge continuing course, you can't charge for those events that occurred during the course of conduct," Wilson said.

That includes the rape charges which the prosecution alleges took place in 2007 and 2008.

Hubbard and Christy M. Woods, 33, were charged in July 2010 with sexually assaulting a pre-teen girl at a property Hubbard owns on Taylors Landing Road in Sharpsburg, according to the statement of probable cause filed by the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

Woods, who was from Tennessee, met Hubbard on an Internet chat room in 2006 and began visiting him along with the girl, from April 3, 2007, to Nov. 30, 2008, the charging documents said.

During that time, Woods and the girl stayed in Hubbard's basement, but later moved to a Winnebago on the Taylors Landing Road property, the documents said.

The accusations against Hubbard and Woods surfaced in June 2010 when the girl made disclosures during therapy sessions, and the Tennessee Department of Children's Services was notified, the documents said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office was subsequently contacted, and investigators found Woods staying at the Taylors Landing Road property when they searched it, the documents said.

The girl told investigators she was abused by a man she knew as "GW," the documents said.

Woods pleaded guilty to second-degree child abuse in May and agreed to testify for the state against Hubbard. Other charges against her, including rape, were placed on the inactive docket.

Woods is in the Washington County Detention Center awaiting sentencing, Wilson said.

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