Defendant violates 20-year prior probation sentence
Huskey found guilty on sex charges

Wanda English Burnett

A guilty verdict for a former Osgood man sent him straight to jail with two sentencing hearings scheduled.

“He’s looking at up to 40 years (in prison) Deputy Prosecutor Ryan King told the Osgood Journal after the trial that lasted just two days last week in Ripley County Circuit Court.

Robert J. Huskey, 62, was found guilty of Attempted Sexual Misconduct With a Minor, Class B Felony and Attempted Sexual Misconduct With a Minor, a Class C Felony. The difference in the charges is related to the specific sex acts Huskey attempted to commit in August of 2009.

Huskey had been wanted by police for 16 months when he was finally arrested in Ohio. When police first came looking for him, he lied saying he wasn’t Robert, but rather his brother. The second time police came calling, his friend, Edith Beitenduvel, who lived with him, told police he wasn’t home. Upon further search of the residence, Huskey was found hiding under the pool deck. He was arrested and extradited back to Ripley County to stand trial.

Huskey will be sentenced on these charges September 1.

But, the story doesn’t end there. Because Huskey was serving a 20-year probation sentence for a Criminal Confinement charge dating back to 1995 in Ripley County, he faces a probation violation sentencing.

The jury’s guilty verdict on the latest charges automatically revoked Huskey’s probation. This means he could be sentenced to the entire 20 years on that charge, according to King. That sentencing hearing will be held July 19.

At one point of the closing arguments Deputy Prosecutor King told the jury that witnesses for the defendant had told a lot of lies. “Lies, lies, lies,” he said as he told how they tried to assassinate the character of the victim - someone less than 14 years of age.

The defendant’s family wanted to handle the situation themselves rather than to get the law involved. “Under the constitution, everyone gets protection,” King said in closing. “He’s guilty and I’m asking you to find him guilty,” were King’s parting words to the jury.

John Dorenbusch, Huskey’s attorney, told the jury, “It’s an emotional case, an ugly charge.” He said his client denied the allegations and said the state had not met their burden of proof.

During closing arguments, Judge Carl Taul abruptly stopped proceedings, dismissing the jury. After they left the room, Judge Taul addressed the defendant’s brother, Jesse Huskey, who was sitting in the public viewing section. He told him the hysterics had to stop. Jesse Huskey would make near audible comments, smile broadly and wave his hands as Prosecutor King made his final plea to jurors.

Jesse Huskey tried to justify his actions with Judge Taul who told him to be quiet. He was one word away from being arrested.

Jurors were then brought back into the courtroom and the proceedings continued with no further interruptions.

After jurors heard from witnesses, the victim and the defendant, they deliberated for less than two hours before the verdict was heard.

As the verdict was read, two relatives of the victim were obviously relieved as they broke down in tears. The trial that had taken so long to get scheduled due to Huskey’s absence, brought justice to this family who also know the victim will still have to heal.

Deputy King said he was pleased with the verdict because he knows the defendant should be put away for a long time to keep other potential victims safe. “He’s a dangerous man and I was very pleased with the verdict,” he told the Osgood Journal.