Girls detail alleged abuse by couple

Posted: Monday, May 20, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- For 10 years, two young sisters thought no one would believe them if they said they were placed in homemade stocks and forced to act out sexual fantasies of a Sitka couple, the girls testified in Juneau Superior Court last week.

Cynthia Sky, 40, and Dick Blue Sky, 48, face 37 counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. Blue Sky is charged with nine additional counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, one count of failure to register as a sex offender, and one count of misconduct involving weapons, all felonies.

Prosecutors say three young girls were the victims, ranging in age from 3 to 13 when the abuse took place from 1994 through last year.

R.T., 14, testified Thursday that Dick Blue Sky molested her starting when she was 3, when he stayed at her home as a guest.

The family met Blue Sky in Sitka and remained friends with him and later his wife, Cynthia, for nearly 10 years.

R.T. said she was sent to Bauer Island, 50 miles north of Sitka, where the Skys lived in a makeshift camp, in January 2001.

Her mother testified R.T. was sent to the island because the girl had been having discipline problems at school and at home. She said that for several years the Skys had offered to home school R.T. and teach her discipline.

The abuse continued on the island, according to R.T.

''I never told my mom,'' said R.T. ''I never told anyone. It wasn't something I wanted anyone to know. ... I was scared. I was really scared of his hook and I thought no one would believe me.''

Dick Blue Sky's right arm was amputated and he has a prosthetic arm with a hook.

Part of the abuse, R.T. said, was a series of rewards and punishments devised by the Skys that included being able to ''buy'' her way out of a half-hour in the stocks, or a beating with a belt, by performing sex acts on Dick or Cynthia Sky.

Part of the punishment in the stocks, R.T. said, was that the Skys could ''do whatever they wanted to me'' sexually.

R.T.'s sister, J.T., 12, said the couple began abusing her sexually when she was 5. She recounted Dick Blue Sky asking for oral sex while Cynthia Sky held J.T.'s head and threatened her.

The prosecution rested its case Thursday, and the trial is expected to continue Monday with the defense case.

Superior Court Judge Michael Thompson ruled Wednesday that the couple could question the girls. The Skys are acting partly as their own attorneys.

Cynthia Sky's attorney, Sidney Billingslea, and Dick Blue Sky's attorney, Darrel Gardner, have told the judge they aren't adequately prepared to cross-examine witnesses because the Skys have not cooperated with them.

The defense didn't question the sisters Thursday, but may question them next week. The defense also did not question R.B., 11, who testified Wednesday.

Nurse Practitioner Katherine Ingallinera testified Thursday that she examined the girls after the Skys were arrested in February 2001. She said R.B. and R.T. had scarring indicative of prolonged sexual abuse. She said J.T. had no signs of prolonged abuse, but that about half of abuse victims do not have physical scarring.

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