Haga convicted on sexual battery charges

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

INDEPENDENCE — A jury has recommended that a man charged with sodomy and animate object sexual penetration of a child under age 13 and two counts each of indecent liberties with a child in September 2005 should serve 20 years in prison.

Ralph Haga was found guilty on five counts of aggravated sexual battery on Jan. 11, after a three-day jury trial in Grayson County Circuit Court.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Douglas Vaught said the trial started Jan. 9 with jury selection. The process took about three hours and the court broke for lunch before opening arguments began.

Vaught presented evidence until about 5 p.m. and the court ended for the day.

On Jan. 10, Vaught finished presenting evidence by noon, the defense had its turn in the afternoon and went until 5:30.

Friday morning was filled with closing arguments, and the jury was given the case about 9:30 a.m. The jury deliberated until about 5 p.m. and found Haga guilty on all five counts.

The jury recommended a sentence of four years and a fine of $1,000 on each case, for a total of 20 years and a $5,000.

Haga will be sentenced March 7.