New Haven man to serve 180 days

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Landmark News Service

 A New Haven man is serving 180 days in the Marion County Detention Center in Lebanon after being convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting a victim between 2002 and 2007.  

Bobby Lee Hudson, 67, formerly of Washington County, pleaded guilty last December in circuit-court-conducted mediation to two counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12. He had faced as many as 20 years in prison, but accepted a much more modest sentence May 23, after his young victim urged leniency in the case, according to the victim's mother.

Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Cocanougher said the sentence came as a result of criminal mediation, but the final verdict in plea negotiations is up to the prosecutor, which is the Commonwealth of Kentucky in this case.

Cocanougher said the wishes of the victim are considered during a case such as this, but the victim does not have veto power over a sentence.

"Initially [Hudson] didn't want to serve any time," said the victim's mother, in a post-sentencing interview with The Springfield Sun.

The victim wanted Hudson to serve some jail time, the mother said, but also wanted to avoid a lengthy and potentially emotional trial.

The victim cited Hudson's age and health as factors in her decision to agree to lesser penalties from the judge.

In exchange for his guilty plea, 208 counts of sex abuse of a child under the age of 16 (Class D felony) were dropped. Also dropped were 34 counts of sex abuse of a child under the age of 12.

According to court records, Hudson will be eligible for work release, although he is reportedly disabled.

Jail officials last Wednesday said he had not left the premises for employment.

Immediately after his arrest last year, Hudson served 63 days in jail from May 13-July 20, 2011, at which time he posted a $30,000 unsecured bond, according to records from the detention center.

Hudson must register as a sex offender and be supervised around children. He will remain on probation the next five years.