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Man sentenced in rape case

Staff Writer | November 28, 2021 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — A Sagle man who sexually assaulted a young girl last Christmas was sentenced to serve a year in the state’s retained jurisdiction program as a part of a three- to seven year sentence.

McCabe Willy B. Huckabee, 20, may qualify for probation at the end of his first year in prison.

Also known as a “rider,” courts can retain jurisdiction to allow a defendant to participate in intensive education programs for the first year of their sentence. The program supplements an inmate’s rehabilitation needs. After the end of the first year, the inmate reappears before the judge where they can either go on probation, or be sentenced to term.

First District Judge Barbara Buchanan cited Huckabee’s age and lack of severe criminal history during Monday’s hearing before handing down a three- to seven-year sentence. McCabe was given 48 days credit for time served, and will have to pay $2,645 in court costs and evaluation fees in addition to registering as a sex offender.

“I have learned from my charge and would like to make an apology to the family and to the community for my wrongdoing,” Huckabee said. “I would like to continue my career, living a good life on probation.”

According to court documents, the victim snuck out of her house in the early hours of Dec. 26, 2020, after arranging to meet with Huckabee. The victim started a FaceTime call with eight peers around the time Huckabee picked her up. However, the victim kept the call on mute so Huckabee would not be aware of it. After arriving at Huckabee’s Sagle residence, both took cannabis concentrate, also known as “dabs,” and the victim asked Huckabee for a glass of water.

In the victim’s forensic interview, she said after 15 minutes of drinking the water, her arms and head began to feel “tingly.” Around this time Huckabee discovered the Facetime call and ended it, also turning off the victim’s phone. According to the victim’s statements, the next thing she remembers was waking up approximately two hours later with some of her clothing removed. The victim also told the forensic interview that she felt hot, throbbing pain.

The victim said she began to have a panic attack and asked Huckabee to take her home.

“I can’t listen to people talk about Christmas anymore,” the victim said during the sentencing, “I just freak out and don’t want to celebrate anymore. It feels like a year of my life has been blacked out, just trying to do anything to make me stop thinking about it or stop worrying about it.”

The victim went on to say that she has received threats and accusations over the previous year regarding her assault.

“There’s so many people that I’ve gotten threats from. Saying they are going to jump me, fight me, or I’m just a terrible person and this never happened and I wanted it,” she said. “But if you think about it in the slightest, he is an adult, and I’m not even at the legal age to give consent. So either way that’s just messed up.”

“I have to sit here and feel ridiculed for standing up for myself and trying to make justice for myself and other girls and I just get put down for it all. I’ve heard more girls stand up. And more girls talk about the same situations with him, it’s just been put off so many times.”

“This happened to me. And it impacted me and my family,” she said towards the end of her statement.

Legal representation for Huckabee, Rex Finney, acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations.

“Even if she consented, it’s still a crime,” Finney said. “It's still a crime, there is no such thing as consent, it’s just inappropriate.”

There is no statute of limitations for victims of underage sexual assault. The first step for many similar victims is confiding in someone trustworthy. There are local resources available 24/7 to those wanting to come forward. Call either LilyBrooke Family Justice Center at 208-265-3586, or the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office at 208-265-5525. In a timely emergency, call 911.

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