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Lehigh man gets 50 years

Trueblood sentenced on two counts of sexual abuse

April 12, 2012
By PETER KASPARI - Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

The second sentencing date for a Webster County man who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse went uninterrupted Wednesday, ending with the defendant sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.

Gary E. Trueblood, 49, of Lehigh, was sentenced in Webster County District Court after pleading guilty in March to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse.

He must serve 70 percent of his sentence before he can be considered for parole.

Before the hearing, District Court Judge Thomas Bice asked everyone in the courtroom to maintain civility.

"I'd like to remind those in the courtroom that this is a court of law," Bice said. "This court will demand of you your respect."

Bice said everyone is concerned with the proceedings, but he asked the people present to remain civil.

"Show proper respect, dignity and civility for all involved," Bice cautioned.

His comments referred to a courtroom incident Friday, the day Trueblood was originally scheduled for sentencing. When Bice delayed Trueblood's sentencing date due to the defendant's health-related issues, a member of the victim's family tried running at the defendant, but was stopped before she could reach him.

The victim's brother then passed out in the hallway, which led to a call for paramedics. He was examined and allowed to return home with his family.

At Wednesday's hearing, three members of the Webster County Sheriff's Department were present in the courtroom to make sure everything ran smoothly.

The victim and her mother both made statements to Trueblood and the court. It is The Messenger's policy to not identify victims of sexual abuse.

The victim told Trueblood that her life hasn't been the same since the abuse happened. "It's no one's fault but yours," she said.

"You took away so much," the victim told Trueblood. "There's so much I want to say that can't be put into words."

She frequently cries herself to sleep at night, she said, and wakes up in the middle of the night.

The victim's mother's words for Trueblood were bitter.

"I want you to die in prison."

During the women's statements, Trueblood sat still and appeared to be looking right at the witness stand where they sat.

Then it was Trueblood's turn to talk.

"People that know me know that I'm a good man at heart," he said.

He blamed voices he was hearing in his head for causing him to abuse the victim.

"The biggest mistake I made was not getting help for myself," Trueblood said.

Afterwards, Bice, referencing the presentence investigation report, spoke.

"It's one of the most repulsive, disgusting set of facts I've ever been associated with," Bice said. "Your acts were predatory.

"There is no place for you in a law-abiding society."

Bice offered advice to the victim and her family.

"I urge you to heal. Do what you can. Be strong. Understand the criminal justice system is going to do everything in its legal power to make sure Mr. Trueblood stays in prison for as long as possible. I wish you well."

Contact Peter Kaspari at (515) 573-2141 or



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