Written by Craig Cheatham for WCPO
Sentenced to 25 years in prison for raping one girl and sexually abusing three others, Joseph Eubank could be released next week on probation after serving four years in juvenile detention.
“It’s a danger for society to even consider it,” one of Eubank’s victims told the I-Team. “I’m losing confidence in the justice system.”
Several years ago, a judge ordered the then-17-year-old former Covington Catholic student to be moved to an adult prison within five months after he turned 18, according to court records.
But Eubank’s family filed a lawsuit that prompted the State of Kentucky to keep him in a juvenile detention center until his 21st birthday.
Since he turns 21 next week and is still in juvenile detention, Kentucky state law allows Eubank to file a motion for probation. His attorneys filed that motion on Sept. 8.
“A transfer to prison would risk the criminalization of Joseph and, ultimately, a greater chance of recidivism for the community — the opposite of what Joseph’s successes in treatment have accomplished,” according to the motion.
If Kenton County Circuit Court Judge Mary ‘Kate’ Molloy grants his motion, Eubank will not be required to serve out his sentence in prison.
Instead, he’ll live with his parents in Kenton County, according to court records.
“It would just send a horrible message about how we treat serial rapists if he were to be let out,” Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said.
Eubank’s motion includes his psychological evaluations.
“Joseph is at very “LOW RISK” to sexually re-offend,” psychologist Ed Conner wrote in his Aug. 15, 2023 evaluation and risk assessment of Eubank. “In my clinical opinion, Joseph has been successfully rehabilitated.”
Current and former detention center employees wrote letters to Judge Molloy praising him and encouraging the judge to grant his request for probation.
Eight business owners, including Eubank’s relatives, wrote letters to Molloy pledging to hire Eubank if he’s released on probation, according to the motion.
The motion doesn’t include a letter from Eubank or his father.
“There is no doubt that Joseph has committed serious crimes and has hurt many people,” Eubank’s mother Michelle Eubank wrote in her letter to the judge. “I firmly believe that probation, along with some conditions and supervision, would provide an opportunity for Joseph to demonstrate that he can be a responsible and law-abiding citizen.”
Kenton County Commissioner Jon Draud also wrote a letter to the judge.
“I know Joseph has always been an exemplary kid,” Draud told the I-Team during a phone conversation on Thursday. “He was an altar boy at my church.”
Draud, 85, claimed that he didn’t know Eubank was convicted of rape and sexual abuse against four girls.
“If I knew he was guilty of that, I wouldn’t have written the letter for him,” Draud said.
Minutes later, Draud questioned if Eubank really confessed.
“Well, I don’t know that he actually admitted to anything,” Draud said. “I’m not familiar with the case.”
In his letter to the judge, Draud didn’t ask Molloy to grant Eubank’s motion.
But during his conversation with the I-Team, Draud admitted that he thinks Eubank should get probation.
“I don’t see where serving any time in an adult prison is going to help anyone,” Draud said.
The I-Team told him that sending Eubank to an adult prison as originally intended might help victims who feel like he hasn’t paid enough of a price for what he did to them.
“I don’t know whether it will help the victims or not,” Draud said. “That’s a debatable issue.”
Sanders said he was offended that Draud — an elected county official — wrote a letter supporting Eubank.
“It shocks me that he would go to bat for a serial rapist,” Sanders said. “I’ll never support Jon Draud again.”
The I-Team played our interview with Draud for one of Eubank’s victims, her father and the mother of a second victim.
“I think it’s unbelievable that he wrote him a letter without knowing anything about the case,” Eubank’s victim said.
Her father said, “It makes me sick that an elected official would do that without the facts.”
The mother of a second victim said she was “disgusted” that Draud wrote the letter.
“It also scares me that we live in a community that elected someone like that to a position of power,” she said.
Her daughter, now a college student, said she has suffered from anxiety and depression since Eubank attacked her. She said her family has spent thousands of dollars on counseling and medicine for her.
“It’s definitely exhausting,” she said.
Sanders said Friday is his deadline for filing a response to Eubank’s motion.
“There are hundreds of people that have reached out to me to express shock and outrage that this is even a possibility,” Sanders said.
The two victims who spoke with the I-Team said they will provide letters to the judge as part of Sanders’ response.
“I’ll write as many letters as I need to,” one victim said. “I’ll do as many interviews as I need to until we’re finally able to put this away.”