Convicted felon: 'Justice failed me'

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A Willisburg man claims he suffered at the hands of incompetent public defenders and jail medics

A Willisburg man, who pleaded guilty last year to repeatedly sexually assaulting his juvenile stepdaughter, says he was failed by the judicial system and nearly died at the hands of incompetent jail house medics.  
After serving 180 days in the Marion County Detention Center for his crimes,  Bobby Lee Hudson, 68, is now releasing details he said were never heard by Washington County circuit-court mediators. He maintains his innocence and said he was silenced by court-appointed defenders and coaxed by prosecutors to accept a plea bargain.
Hudson said private attorneys required as much as $30,000 to represent him at trial, so it was easier to admit guilt and serve jail time than pay thousands to defend his innocence.
“I draw less than $10,000 a year on disability,” he said. “I couldn’t afford it.”  
Details about the relationship with his estranged wife and his stepdaughter — who accused Hudson of repeatedly raping her between 2002 and 2007 — never surfaced, he said. Those details could’ve vindicated him from any wrongdoing, he contends.  
Court records show Hudson was accused of fondling his stepdaughter multiple times between 2002 and 2007. Most of the incidents occurred in the victim’s bedroom, between 4 to 5 a.m., before her mother returned home from working late shifts. The victim was less than 12 years old at the time of the incidents, records show.
Hudson had been feuding with his wife for several months before any criminal charges were filed, he said.
“Then, she went crazy and went to court and told them I was stalking her,” Hudson told The Springfield Sun in a post-jail interview earlier this month. “She said I threatened her daughter with a butcher knife. They investigated. I went to court, and a judge had me on a restraining order for two years.”
Sexual assault charges were filed sometime thereafter, he said.
Hudson said around the same time, his estranged wife repeatedly refilled his prescriptions — including more than 20 various types of drugs from painkillers to sleep aids to Diabetes medication — without his consent.
Hudson said he was a good father figure to the girl who accused him of rape.
“I took her to Girl Scout meetings and father-daughter dances,” he said. “I was a daddy.”
But he said circumstances conspired against him and the judicial system collapsed, in part because of negligent court-appointed defenders.
Court records show Hudson was represented in mediation by at least two public advocates — Ashley Shouse and Virginia Phelps — at little or no charge.
“Those two [expletive] never said a word on my behalf,” Hudson said. “My attorneys never questioned anything.”
Instead, Hudson said the attorneys coached him on his testimony and coerced him to plead guilty.
“They told me how to answer each question,” he said.  “I’m no lawyer.”
Shouse did not return phone messages left by The Springfield Sun at her office.
Phelps requested all correspondence about the accusations to be conducted through e-mai. She did not respond to the accusations by deadline.  
However, sworn affidavits obtained from Washington Circuit Court and signed by Hudson indicate he “wasn’t forced, threatened or coerced into participating in mediation.” The same affidavit shows the judicial process was “fair” and that Hudson was “given fair opportunity to think about the consequences of his agreement.”
Hudson had faced as many as 20 years in prison, but accepted a more modest sentence of 180 days in May 2012, after his young victim urged leniency in the case, according to an earlier interview with the victim’s mother.
“I figured six months was better than seven or more years,” he said. “So, I took it. I pled guilty.”
But Hudson contends his attorneys and judge never fully explained the ramifications of his felony conviction.
As part of his conviction, Hudson was required to register as a sex offender. He no longer qualifies for the government-assisted housing services, on which he previously relied. He’s also restricted from schools and other areas where children congregate.
“I had a nice gun collection,” Hudson said. “I had to give it up.”
Under federal and state laws, most convicted felons cannot own guns, with few exceptions.
The conviction took away his livelihood, Hudson said.
“If I would’ve had $30,000 I would’ve fought it,” he said.
Conditions at the Marion County Detention Center were not adequate, Hudson said.
“I got sick on the food,” he said. “For three months, I couldn’t eat it.”
Hudson calims he lost nearly 50 pounds while serving his sentence, although he also admitted undergoing gastric bypass surgery prior to his incarceration.  
Hudson said guards at the Lebanon facility treated every prisoner with respect, but he claims medical staff at the jail were largely incompetent.
Life-saving medicine was often administered to him about six to eight hours behind schedule, he said.
In October, Hudson said he suffered a Diabetic shock at the facility that almost killed him.
“My eyes rolled back in my head. I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed,” he said. “I had blood coming out of my mouth because I was biting my lip off.”
Upon release, he said he suffered a bleeding ulcer and was diagnosed with Anemia. He said he was billed $140 for medical care he received while incarcerated.
“I suffered a whole lot for six months for a trumped up story,” Hudson said. “They conspired to inflate charges. I deny everything.”  
He also claims jail staff stole at least $50 from his wallet.
But jail officials dismiss those claims.
Marion County Jailer Barry Brady said HIPPA laws prevented him from discussing an inmate’s medical issues, but he contends standards at the facility are among the highest in the state and nation.
“An individual may feel that it’s not up to his standards,” said Brady, who was named state jailer of the year in 201. “ but Marion County is the only jail in the state of Kentucky that is accredited by national standards.”
Jail inspectors visit the site numerous times throughout the year, he said, and medical services at the jail are contracted through Maryland-based providers.
“They are also an accredited medical provider on a national level,” Brady said. “There are nurses on site here 16 hours a day, seven days a week, with a doctor to triage medical issues. Necessary medicare care is always administered. “
Detainees also have access to GED and other educational programs, as well as regular exercise opportunities. Dieticians even monitor food services to provide balanced meals for inmates.
Brady said those who question the operation can even schedule a personalized tour.

Editor’s note: The Springfield Sun does not publish the names of juvenile victims of sex crimes.