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Future of convicted child molester in Post Falls hangs in the balance

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A man convicted of molesting an eight-year-old boy in Post Falls last year had the chance to walk out of prison Tuesday. 

Zachary Hubbard was found guilty of molesting the child last year, when he was 30-years-old. He was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison and served less than one year. Hubbard was given the chance to complete what's called a "rider" program in Idaho before being sentenced.

As part of the "rider" program, Hubbard went through ten months of sex offender treatment -- Tuesday, a Kootenai County judge decided if that would be enough to let him skip decades behind bars and just serve probation instead.

The defense argued Hubbard molested the child because he himself was sexually abused when he was younger. Hubbard's attorney told the judge Hubbard was a "core group member" and did an "excellent job" at his treatment, which started in October 2017. The defense argued because of that, he should go free.

The Idaho Department of Corrections also recommended probation.

Judge Mitchell said if he had to make the decision right then and there on Tuesday, he would impose a sentence of at least 15 years for Hubbard. The defense moved to continue the case.

Judge Mitchell said in court Tuesday he needed more information before he could make that decision -- he said he needed Hubbard to submit a risk assessment and polygraph at his next court date, set for September 4 at 11:30 a.m.


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