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Sitka child molester beaten in prison

9-5-2002 Alaska:

.A Sitka man convicted of molesting three young girls in a "sex camp" on Bauer Island allegedly was beaten by at least two prison inmates with a mop handle last weekend, prison officials said today. Dick Blue Sky, 49, was to be tried Wednesday morning in Juneau Superior Court on a felon-in-possession-of-a-weapon charge. But Ketchikan Superior Court Judge Michael Thompson, who presided over Sky's trial in May, continued the trial until October because of Sky's injuries.

Sky and his wife Cynthia were convicted by a Juneau jury in May of forcing three young girls to perform sexual acts on them on Bauer Island, 40 miles north of Sitka, between 1994 and 2001. They were convicted on a total of 41 felony counts that included various sexual abuse and child exploitation charges. Darrel Gardner, Sky's public defender, said today that Sky was sweeping the floor of his prison dormitory at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center sometime Friday night when three men, whose names are not being released, came up to him and beat him with a mop handle and a cribbage board.

Gardner said Sky claims the guards "took their time" coming to break up the fight, despite his cries for help. Sky sustained a laceration to his head, requiring six to nine stitches, as well as bruises. He was treated and released from Bartlett Regional Hospital on Saturday and returned to the state prison.

Daniel Carothers, prison superintendent, said a prison investigation indicated several fights took place between Sky and three or four other inmates Friday, culminating in a serious altercation with two other inmates around 1 a.m. Saturday. Carothers could not confirm Sky was beaten with a cribbage board. He said the investigation shows, so far, that Sky was an active participant in each brawl.

Carothers said the last fight was broken up immediately by guards, Sky was taken to the hospital and the other men involved in the fight were taken into custody. District Attorney Rick Svobodny said he doesn't know whether charges will be filed against the inmates until the Alaska State Troopers complete an investigation of the incident.

Carothers said the fights probably were motivated by the nature of Sky's crimes and personality clashes, among other reasons. Carothers said Sky has been removed from the general prison population and put into protective custody.

"Many of our inmates here find his offenses so repugnant that I'm not sure I can keep him safe if he's put back into the general population," Carothers said. "Currently he is in a cell by himself with the same privileges as someone in the general population." ..more.. : by MELANIE PLENDA

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