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Convicted child molester released after less than a year

September 5, 2018
Zachary Hubbard
Zachary Hubbard
By Mike Weland

A Post Falls man sentenced to up to 40 years in prison after being convicted last year of two counts of lewd conduct with a child was released after successfully completing a ten month rider, and he lists as his residence 150 Roman Nose Drive, Naples, located in Highland Flats, where he will likely live while serving 10 years' supervised probation.

Zachary Jacob Hubbard, 30, was charged in Kootenai County April 20, 2017, with two counts of lewd conduct with a child under 16 after the boy, his eight-year-old stepson, told his teacher that the man he looked up to as dad had molested him.

Found guilty, Hubbard was sentenced to 15 years determinate in the Idaho Correctional Institution in Orofino, with 25 years indeterminate. First District Court Judge T. Mitchell then retained jurisdiction for 365 days, giving Hubbard the opportunity to complete the rider program.

On September 4, a jurisdictional review hearing was held, during which defense attorney Sean Walsh argued for probation.

"Court retained jurisdiction for a reason," the hearing minutes read. "A year ago the court listed off a few things you wanted to see."

Reviewing notes, he ticked them off, "excellent job presenting his success plan," the minutes continue. "Also states he was the go-to person on the unit if someone didn't understand or needed help with emotions ... Looking at the rider report, wrote they recommended he be placed on probation wholeheartedly. A third person, the program manager, had to sign off on that. Three folks telling the court the same thing, giving Def a chance on probation."

The Kootenai County prosecutor argued for imposition of sentence.

"Nothing we have received today or that occurred mitigates the state's concern regarding the safety of the community," the minutes read. "This boy was Def's stepson, someone who trusted and relied on him. Def groomed him ... he's admitted sexual attraction to children, admitting viewing child pornography ... now he accepts the fact that he is gay. That is not he (sic) concern, problem is he is attracted to children. I don't think this rider treatment can really change the depth of the deviant interests that Def has. It can't change the incredible trauma inflicted on this child. The child will have to undergo a lifetime of torment of the issues that his step-dad sexually abused him ... This is not the type of case where probation is appropriate. Not the type of case we can be confident he will (not) re-offend again. The stakes are too high."

Hubbard spoke on his own behalf.

"I get that I've tried to live my life my way, hide in shame and fear," court minutes read. "I failed. Failed a young boy that did trust me, that called me dad. I failed him by allowing the same thing that I went thru as a kid, I caused it. When you sent me on the rider, I told myself I would not fail. I gave it 100 percent. I did not try to slide by. I opened up to people, which has always been hard for me. I know what I did was the most despicable thing that somebody can do. I hate what I did. But for the first time in my life I can look at myself and fell (sic) love instead of hate and shame ... Asking for the opportunity to continue treatment. I am willing to go thru more treatment, I don't want to stop growing. I want to be a valuable member of society, not just a productive one."

Afer placing Hubbard on supervised probation, Mitchell explained.

"Your crime was a one time offense," the minutes read. "You've passed a polygraph indicating there are no other instances. I think you were a horribly confused person when yo (sic) committed the crime. You had similar things happen to you when you were growing up. You realized the horrible impact you had on your victim."

In addition to probation, Mitchell imposed $500 in costs, 300 hours community service and continued treatment. He credited Hubbard with 353 days of time served, and ordered that Hubbard register as a sex offender and undergo random weekly breath tests and/or urinary analysis tests for drugs and alcohol for the first year.

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