A former Beaumont Middle School science teacher accused of raping and sodomizing two students in the late 1970s has asked a judge to move his trial out of Fayette County.
An attorney for Jack Russell Hubbard submitted a change of venue motion to Fayette Circuit Judge James D. Ishmael Jr. at a status hearing Wednesday. Attorney William Butler, who represents Hubbard, said coverage related to his client's case could make it difficult to assemble an impartial jury.
"I just don't think he can get a fair trial here in Lexington," Butler said.
Hubbard is charged with four counts of first-degree sodomy and one count of first-degree rape that stem from accusations from former students Thomas "Beau" Goodman III and Carol Lynne Maner, respectively. Hubbard's trial is scheduled for July 13 and 14.
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The Herald-Leader does not generally identify people who allege sexual abuse. However, Maner came forward after she filed the civil lawsuit, and Goodman's attorneys also have discussed the case after Maner filed her lawsuit.
Hubbard, who now lives in Texas, was arrested in July 2007 in Pennsylvania as Maner was testifying in a high-profile civil trial in Lexington against the Fayette County School Board.
Maner had accused the school board of ignoring a pattern of alleged sexual abuse against her by several school board employees. She won a $3.9 million verdict that the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld May 22.
Butler said the May 23 Herald-Leader article about the appellate decision mentioned Hubbard and brought attention back to his case.
"Before, I thought the civil aspect had died down," Butler said.
The article prompted Butler to file the change of venue motion, he told Ishmael.
But Ishmael said it would have been better for Butler to file the motion earlier, because the trial is less than a month away. The judge didn't receive the motion until the beginning of Wednesday's status hearing.
"Somebody get me in the loop here," Ishmael said. "I need to know stuff like this."
Ishmael scheduled a hearing to address the motion at 3 p.m. June 26.