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Archive for Monday, April 19, 2004

Missouri has chance to commit rapist as sexual predator

April 19, 2004

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— The state Attorney General's Office could get another chance at committing a convicted rapist as a sexual predator after he was charged last week with stabbing a woman.

Gregory Hubbard, 47, was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in connection with the April 1 attack of a 44-year-old woman. The woman was treated at a hospital for a stab wound that sliced her liver.

Hubbard was in jail Friday on $250,000 bond.

Hubbard's criminal record dates back to 1978 and includes convictions for rape and assault with attempt to rape. State officials couldn't commit him as a sexual predator when he was to be released from prison in December 2000.

The Missouri Attorney General's Office asked that Hubbard receive a psychiatric evaluation, but a Jackson County Circuit judge and an appeals court ruled the state didn't have enough evidence of mental abnormality to hold him.

"We did everything we could," Atty. Gen. Jay Nixon said. "I'm extremely disappointed we weren't able to get him the treatment I thought he needed. Unfortunately, we were not provided an opportunity to put on evidence of this man's violent nature."

After his release, he was charged in August 2002 with forcible rape and two counts of forcible sodomy related to an attack against a 61-year-old woman. But prosecutors said the case was weak, and they had to offer Hubbard a deal that put him on three years' probation.

Assistant prosecutor Robin Threlkeld said she could not introduce Hubbard's past rape convictions if Hubbard did not testify at trial, and she said Hubbard was not testifying.

"There was no way we were going to win this case," Threlkeld said.

Nixon said he again would seek to have Hubbard confined as a sexual predator at the end of his sentence if he's convicted of the attack that allegedly occurred this month.

Nixon said sex offenders are some of the hardest to cure and that's why the sexual predator law was passed.

In the most recent case, court records said Hubbard met his alleged victim at a bus stop and followed her to a casino where he stayed with her as she gambled. The woman agreed to feed Hubbard at her apartment if he helped her carry dirty clothes to the laundry room. The woman said she specifically told Hubbard that she was allowing him to come over for food and nothing involving sex, according to court records.

But after eating, court records said Hubbard ignored the woman's repeated requests to leave. After asking to help with the laundry, court records said Hubbard went with her to the laundry room where he put a knife to her throat and told her to undress. The woman convinced him to return to her apartment where he allegedly stabbed her after she fumbled with the keys to her front door and started screaming.

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