A Perry man was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in prison for enticing a 12-year-old girl to his apartment, giving her alcohol and marijuana, and committing sexual acts with her, a Houston County prosecutor said.
Bruce Wayne Huey,42, was also sentenced to life on probation by Superior Court Judge Edward D. Lukemire, said David Cooke, senior assistant district attorney. Huey faces a minimum of 25 years in prison without parole.
Huey was convicted Wednesday after a three-day, jury trial of two counts of aggravated child molestation, two counts of child molestation, one count of statutory rape and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes, Cooke said.
According to Cooke, the girl came to Huey’s girlfriend’s home to use the phone and get a ride to a friend’s home in August 2008. When Huey realized she was a runaway, he offered her a ride and a place to stay at his apartment, and when they got to the apartment, he offered her alcohol, marijuana and committed sexual acts with her, according to Cooke.
Huey dropped her off at her middle school the next day, Cooke said. But the molestation did not become known to authorities until another runaway incident in February 2009 in which she told a Houston County sheriff’s investigator what had happened, Cooke said.
The conviction marks the second time Huey has been tried on the charges, with the first trial in March ending in a hung jury after one juror refused to deliberate, Cooke said.
Also, a charge of reckless conduct in which Huey was accused of being HIV positive when he molested the girl was dismissed by the judge during the first trial on a technicality after jurors heard evidence that Huey was HIV positive but before the jury was charged and deliberations began, Cooke said. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.
Evidence in the first trial included testimony from the physician who diagnosed Huey as HIV positive in 1999 and nurses from the Houston County jail who gave him his HIV medications while he was being held pending trial, Cooke said.
But because the reckless conduct charge was dismissed during the first trial, the jury in the second trial did not hear any evidence related to Huey being HIV positive, Cooke said.
However, the fact that Huey is HIV positive did factor into sentencing, with Lukemire noting from the bench that Huey having committed sexual acts with the girl while being HIV positive was like holding a “loaded gun” to her head, Cooke said.
She has tested negative for HIV and continues to undergo regular testing for the virus, which often remains dormant for several years, Cooke said.
“Anybody who preys on a 12-year-old runaway deserves the sentence Mr. Huey got,” Cooke said.
Jeff Grube, a Warner Robins attorney who represented Huey, said that the defense obviously disputes the facts of the case or Huey would not have gone to trial. Grube declined to elaborate on the facts of the case.
Grube also declined to discuss whether Huey was HIV positive. He said Huey has cancer. Whether Huey is HIV positive was irrelevant to the charges against him and had discussion of that been allowed at trial, it would have been impossible for Huey to be tried fairly because of the stigma associated with AIDS, Grube said.
“We feel the jury and the judge has spoken,” Grube said. “I believe in the jury system, but likewise, I believe Mr. Huey has the right to an appeal and that’s what we’re going to do for him.”
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.