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Huckaby gets 8 months in prison in refuge sting

From staff, AP reports

HUNTSVILLE — A prominent lawyer in Huntsville and former Alabama State Bar president was sentenced Friday to eight months in federal prison after his February conviction on sex charges.

Federal agents arrested Gary C. Huckaby, 68, during a July 2005 sting operation targeting illegal sexual behavior at Wheeler Wildlife Refuge in eastern Limestone County. He was accused of illegal sexual contact and indecent exposure.

Huckaby issued a statement Friday saying he is not guilty and will appeal.

"We believe that the jury was not allowed to hear evidence that would have affected the outcome of the trial," Huckaby said.

"Of even greater concern is my belief that this case is part of a political agenda of the U.S. attorney to seek out high profile people for prosecution. This matter was started by the officer issuing misdemeanor tickets, but the U.S. attorney changed it to a felony charge several months late," he said.

The indictment accuses Huckaby of intentionally touching, through clothing, an undercover refuge officer without permission. During the four-day trial, refuge officer Greg Blanks said that after grabbing Blanks' crotch, Huckaby exposed his penis and fondled himself.

Huckaby and four others out of 28 swept up in the operation at the 34,500-acre refuge were charged with sexual contact. One of those men, accused of touching the same officer, has been acquitted.

Huckaby has 30 days to report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. After he serves his term, he will have a year of supervised release, 400 hours of community service and has to pay a $5,000 fine.

He must also register as a sex offender.

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

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