Ex-Prosser mayor's trial delayed 6 weeks

KENNEWICK -- Former Prosser mayor Linda Lusk's trial on charges of felony child molestation has been delayed six weeks to allow her attorney to hire an expert for her defense.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Carrie Runge agreed Friday during a four-minute hearing to move the trial from Jan. 24 to March 7, over the objection of Prosecutor Andy Miller.

Runge said that she had privately met with Lusk's attorney, Scott W. Johnson, prior to the court hearing to hear his reasons for delaying the trial.

Johnson had asked to meet with the judge without the prosecutor or public present so he could justify hiring the expert.

He has not said what kind of expert will be needed.

Runge said after meeting with Johnson that she agreed a delay was appropriate.

Lusk, who did not attend Friday's hearing or the earlier meeting with the judge, faces charges for allegedly inviting a 14-year-old high school boy to her home in April and having sexual contact with him.

In addition to an original charge of child molestation that was filed in June, the 50-year-old wife of Prosser High School's principal faces charges of third-degree rape of a child and communication with a minor for immoral purposes that were added in December.