Fayette school sex-abuse case gets new details

Maner testifies against former science teacher

awilson1@herald-leader.comJuly 14, 2009 

For the early part of Monday afternoon in Fayette Judge James D. Ishmael Jr.'s courtroom, Carol Lynne Maner didn't look at the man the commonwealth had charged with raping her 30 years ago.

When Maner had to, she called him Mr. Hubbard. She was polite and quiet, wringing her hands.

But she gained some strength as the day wore on.

When special prosecutor Tom Smith asked her to describe the evening of her first sexual encounter with her ninth-grade science teacher, she turned to the defense table and called Jack Russell Hubbard by the name she had always called him, Russ. Then she told how, in the 1970s at Beaumont Junior High School, she'd turned to him for help when she was being molested by Roberta Blackwell, an art teacher, and he, in turn, introduced her to marijuana and heterosexual sex.

"He seemed compassionate," she said when Smith asked why she went to speak to him about her problems. "He said he was available to talk to me."

Maner described how Blackwell drove the 15-year-old girl to Hubbard's home and left her on his porch. She told how he beckoned her into his bedroom, taught her to roll and smoke a joint and how he allegedly said she needed a man to "take her virginity."

Maner described herself as "in no position to refuse."

Blackwell is expected to testify Tuesday for the prosecution in exchange for a lessening of charges pending against her in a related case.

Hubbard, 61, also is charged with four counts of sodomy against Thomas "Beau" Goodman III, who probably also will testify Tuesday.

This case, brought by the state, is the criminal side of a civil case that Maner brought against the Fayette County School District. In that case, which Maner originally filed in 2003, she accused a principal, three former teachers and two administrators of sexual abuse and won $3.9 million. The jury award was recently upheld.

Defense attorney Bill Butler said from the outset that the case against Hubbard was about "money and revenge." Hubbard as late as a week and a half ago rejected a plea agreement that would have him serving five years in prison.

What Maner described, in a testimony solicited by Smith, is the life of a 15-year-old girl whose mother was struggling with manic depression and whose father was a binge drinker. She sought refuge in the home of Blackwell, whose life seemed normal by comparison. "They had a routine. She provided meals."

Even when Maner was in eighth grade, Blackwell treated her as a "second daughter." The molestation began early in her ninth-grade year, she says.

A letter Blackwell wrote to Maner in 1978 was introduced as evidence and read by Maner. It included a reference to Hubbard and Maner's sexual relationship.

When Maner's mother asked the school board to look into the unusual activity surrounding her daughter, Maner testified that Hubbard and Blackwell told her to "put a stop to it" and that she lied to the principal. Shortly thereafter, Hubbard called Social Services, and Maner's mother was removed from the family home.

"It destroyed our family," Maner said.

This prompted defense attorney Butler to ask Maner about her desire for revenge against Hubbard for the role she thinks he might have had in destroying her family.

Butler also questioned Maner's memory or false memory.

Maner was adamant.

"I have never forgotten these things," she testified, although she added that sometimes she has a hard time retrieving other things. "I have had to come to terms with these memories."

Maner also denied having a book deal.

Also called to testify were Don Hines and Mike Hadder, lifelong friends of both Maner and Beau Goodman. Both said they had heard details of Maner's stories since she was 15. Hines testified to having learned to smoke marijuana with Hubbard and learning specific details of his initial encounter with Maner, through Hubbard while they were high.

Reach Amy Wilson at 859-231-3305 or at 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3305.

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