Bail was lowered Wednesday to $200,000 for a West Richland man charged with sexually abusing a girl for four years before it escalated to rape for four more years.
Kevin J. Hubbard, 37, allegedly gave marijuana, LSD or a form of pure THC oil to the girl each time he forced her to have sex, which was weekly.
The girl told investigators that she routinely was threatened by Hubbard if she tried to tell someone about the allegations, court documents said.
She said she informed another adult years ago about the inappropriate touching, but that person did not believe her, documents state.
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This time, when the girl came forward about the alleged abuse, an adult immediately called West Richland police and Hubbard was arrested Aug. 6.
Hubbard appeared Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court and pleaded innocent to three counts each of second-degree rape of a child and distribution of a controlled substance to a person under age 18.
Each rape count includes the aggravating circumstances that Hubbard was in a position of trust and that it was an ongoing pattern of sexual abuse of the same victim. The drug distributions involve allegations of sexual motivation.
His trial is set for Sept. 28.
The girl told detectives the sexual abuse started when she was in grade school and, the first time Hubbard raped her four years later, he gave her marijuana, according to court documents. She said he routinely gave her pot before raping her, but also used LSD on several occasions or a “dab.”
The LSD reportedly was used in liquid form or on paper tabs. Dabs involve extracting from a marijuana plant for a concentrated smokable oil.
Hubbard allegedly was found naked on top of the girl once by another adult. That adult was interviewed by police as part of this investigation and confirmed the report, court documents said.
The girl also claimed that Hubbard would take pictures of her while she was naked, documents said.
She said Hubbard had last sexually assaulted her at a Benton City warehouse three days prior to her talking with police, documents said.
Police got a search warrant for the warehouse and reportedly seized a couch and some white rags. They also allegedly found a marijuana grow operation.
Hubbard was held on $250,000 bail, but defense attorney Karla Kane Hudson — who was standing in Wednesday for court-appointed attorney Ryan Swinburnson — argued there is the presumption of innocence and that Hubbard is from the Tri-City area and has ties to the community.
Deputy Prosecutor Laurel Holland objected to any change in the bail amount. She said Hubbard does have felony convictions from out-of-state, though no history of sex offenses.
However, Judge Vic VanderSchoor agreed to reduce it by $50,000.
Hubbard has been ordered to have no contact with the girl. If he posts bond and is released from custody, he is not to have contact with any minors while the case is pending.