The former corrections officer accused of inappropriate sexual contact with two young girls was found guilty today. The day began with defendant Donald Hughes testifying and ended with the convicted Hughes being taken away in handcuffs. He was found guilty on five of the six charges against him, including a criminal sexual act, sexual abuse, and sexual conduct against a child.
"Destruction, abuse of trust, abuse of love," says Assistant District Attorney Dawn Lupi as she addressed the Jury, "in reality there are no words to describe what this defendant has done to the these children."
Hughes maintained his innocence until the end, despite his previous recorded confessions. Defense attorney Richard Bach, in his closing statement, cited inconsistent evidence from one the girls, who was at times, unable to speak out when some of the abuse happened. And, Bach says Hughes was in poor health the day he made those confessions and signed a statement about the inappropriate touching. He says Hughes was continually probed by the investigators to the point where he finally confessed something.
In the end, the jury found him guilty on five charges.
"We're very pleased with the verdict a lot of world went into this by the child advocacy center, the state police, and we're very pleased with the verdict," says Lupi.
Lupi says the victims have had great support from their family which will help in getting them through this difficult time. Hughes is set to be sentenced on February 29th.