Sitka couple sentenced in sex abuse case

Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2002

SITKA (AP) -- A Sitka couple convicted of sexually abusing three girls were sentenced to prison Friday.

Dick Blue Sky, 49, was sentenced to 55 years and his wife, Cynthia Sky, 41, was sentenced to 26 years.

''This is one of the worst offenses I have encountered, even peripherally,'' Judge Michael Thompson said before passing sentence on Dick Sky at Sitka Superior Court. ''He is a worst offender in the worst sort of offense.''

Regarding Cynthia Sky, Thompson said, ''There could be a life for her after sex offender treatment.''

The mothers of the three victims, two of whom are sisters, were among a few dozen spectators to attend the sentencing. The defendants were brought to Sitka from the Juneau Lemon Creek Correctional Center where they have been held since shortly after they were arrested on Feb. 15, 2001.

Thompson, of Ketchikan, presided at the trial in May when a jury found Dick and Cynthia Sky guilty of 41 and 29 counts, respectively, of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, exploitation of a minor and a number of other felonies.

The two were arrested in a multiagency raid on Bauer Island, a remote island 50 miles north of Sitka, where much of the abuse took place. The trial was held in Juneau because of publicity about the case.

The offenses occurred between 1994 and 2001. One of the victims was as young as three when the abuse began.

At the trial, the victims testified that the Skys placed one of them in homemade stocks. The girls said they were forced to perform sexual acts with the Skys as part of what the couple called a ''sex club.'' The girls also said the Skys abused them with sexual devices.

As part of their sentencing, the Skys must also register as sex offenders, participate in sex offender treatment and have no contact with the victims or first- or second-degree relatives, such as grandparents, or aunts.

District Attorney Richard Svobodny had asked for 90 years for Dick Sky, and 60 for Cynthia Sky.

Darrel J. Gardner, the public defender attorney representing Dick Sky, argued that Svobodny's recommendations were excessive in view of the ''quantity and quality'' of the charges.

Mothers of the victims, tearful at times, read statements from relatives, themselves and the victims, and testified about the permanent emotional effects the crimes had on them and their daughters.

Addressing the court, Dick Sky said he and his wife were victims of ''talk show justice.''

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