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Sex-abuse defendant might seek new venue

A former Beaumont Junior High science teacher charged with sodomy and rape of a student may ask to have his trial moved from Fayette County.

Bill Butler, the attorney representing Jack Russell Hubbard, told a judge Friday during a hearing in Fayette Circuit Court, that he may ask for a change of venue because of the publicity surrounding the civil trial involving Carol Lynne Maner. Butler said he is still investigating whether a change of venue is necessary.

In August 2003, Maner filed a lawsuit accusing Fayette County School officials of ignoring a pattern of alleged sexual abuse against her during the late 1970s and into the 1980s by several school employees.

Former students Thomas "Beau" Goodman III and Maner made the accusations. Maner won a $3.9 million verdict. An appeal by the board is pending.

Hubbard was arrested in July 2007 after Maner'stestimony. Hubbard, who left the Fayette school district in 1981, has been indicted on four counts of sodomy and one count of rape.

The Herald-Leader generally does not identify people who allege sexual abuse. But Maner came forward after she filed the civil lawsuit, and Goodman's attorneys have discussed his case.

Hubbard is scheduled to be tried July 13. Attorneys will be back in court on April 9 to discuss any pending motions.