Hyde wants evidence barred from trial

Ex-Carroll schools chief accused of raping child

March 11, 2003|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

Former Carroll County schools Superintendent William H. Hyde was in court yesterday in an effort to have his statements to criminal investigators and an apology letter he wrote to the elementary school-age girl he is accused of raping and molesting barred from trial.

Prosecutors, responding to the defense request that the statements be thrown out because they were not voluntarily given, called to the witness stand the lead investigator in the case, who said Hyde was "extremely cooperative" before his arrest Aug. 8. The investigator, Ruth Ann Arty, also offered graphic testimony about sketches drawn by the young girl and recounted a disclosure that suggests the alleged abuse might have begun years earlier.

Prosecution witnesses also testified that Hyde never explicitly acknowledged that he abused the girl. Rather, confronted with the results of a lie detector test that he failed, he described the evidence as "overwhelming," Arty said.

"Maybe I did do this, and I don't remember," Arty quoted Hyde as saying. "Maybe I did this and was asleep when I did it."

Hyde sat quietly in court, occasionally whispering to his attorneys and taking notes, which he shared with them. His face reddened several times, particularly during some emotional and graphic testimony.

Hyde, 61, who was Carroll's school superintendent from 1998 to 2000, was charged in August with sexual child abuse, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses and second-degree assault. He was indicted on similar charges in September.

A grand jury added a new and more serious count last week, charging him with raping the girl he is accused of molesting. Hyde, who has been free on bail and living in Idaho since his arrest, could receive up to 20 years in prison if convicted on the second-degree rape count.

A lifelong educator, he quit his post with Carroll schools in August 2000 to take a superintendent's job in a small school system in Montana. He left that job last summer to work as an educational consultant.

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