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Hughes Receives Three Consecutive Life Sentences for Child Rape

Like his sibling, he will never experience freedom again.

At the age of 25, Hughes received a sentence of three consecutive life terms for committing three counts of rape and three counts of gross sexual imposition. This verdict was reached after a jury spent just under two hours deliberating his guilt in the Richland County Common Pleas Court earlier this month.

In a separate trial held in August, Hughes’ brother was also found guilty in the same case, facing five counts each of rape and gross sexual imposition. He, too, was sentenced to three consecutive life terms by Judge Phil Naumoff.

During the sentencing, Judge Naumoff condemned Hughes’ actions, stating, “What you did, Mr. Hughes, is reprehensible. There is no place in society for people like yourself, none.”

The victims of Hughes and Butler’s heinous acts were three sisters, all aged 7 or younger at the time of the abuse. These girls were left at the apartment where Hughes resided, having been dropped off by their seldom-present birth mother.

Judge Naumoff highlighted the impact of the abuse on the eldest sister, now 9 years old, whose testimony played a crucial role in securing the conviction. He emphasized the psychological trauma she endured and the counseling she is currently undergoing.

The abuse took place when the other sisters were aged 3 and 1, with the judge expressing hope that they were too young to retain memories of the traumatic events. Naumoff also noted that the youngest girl, initially believed to be Butler’s daughter, was not, underscoring the audacity of the perpetrators’ actions.

Despite the opportunity to accept a 35-year prison term in exchange for a guilty plea, Hughes maintained his innocence, opting to pursue an appeal as advised by his defense attorney, Benjamin Zushin.

The legal guardians of the three sisters, Isis and Sommer Eaton, addressed the court, expressing their determination to help the girls heal and overcome the trauma inflicted upon them. They reassured the court that the girls would eventually find freedom from the ordeal, despite the long road to recovery ahead.

Assistant Prosecutor Lauryn Calderhead emphasized the long-lasting impact of the trauma on the oldest girl, who colored pictures before testifying in court. Calderhead highlighted the girl’s resilience and the community’s responsibility to support her recovery journey.

As the proceedings concluded and Hughes’ supporters exited the courtroom, the 9-year-old victim, symbolizing resilience and hope, joined her family on the third floor of the courthouse, exuding a carefree demeanor and a bright smile.

For inquiries, contact Mark Caudill at [email protected] or 419-521-7219. Connect with X: @MarkCau32059251.