Man gets life in prison for child rapes, assaults
UPDATE POSTED 7:45 A.M., SEPT. 28, 2021
KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A judge rejects a Kenton County man’s request for leniency and sentences him to life in prison for rape and sexual assault of two children.
Joshua Turner appeared again before Kenton Circuit Judge Kathleen Lape for formal, final sentencing, after being convicted in July of eight Class A felonies including rape and sodomy of two children under 12 years old.
Turner, through his attorney, asked the judge to reduce the jury’s recommended sentence to 40 years in prison. Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders asked the Court to respect the wishes of the jurors who recommended eight life sentences.
Judge Lape ordered Turner to prison for life, noting he has destroyed the innocence of two small children and damaged the lives of many more people who had to deal with the fallout from his crimes. Turner sat silent and motionless as the judge pronounced his sentence, prosecutors said.
Sanders applauded the judge’s sentence saying, “It was the right thing to do. Joshua Turner gave those children a life sentence and now he gets one too!”
Sanders said this case is “proof the justice system works. The police, prosecutors, the jury, and the judge… everyone did their jobs and our community is safer because of it.”
Sanders said Turner’s victims are now in counseling and his office would work to make sure they have access to every available resource to help them cope with their trauma.
ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWING JULY CONVICTION
On July 28, 2021, a Kenton County jury deliberated for only about half an hour before finding Joshua Robert Turner guilty of 8 felony offenses including Rape and Sodomy of two children under 12 years old. The same jury then deliberated for almost three hours before recommending Turner serve 8 consecutive Life sentences. Turner hung his head and hurried out of the courtroom after hearing the verdict.
Turner’s case was called for trial before Kenton Circuit Judge Kathleen Lape on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. The case was prosecuted by Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Maria Schletker and Emily Arnzen. The prosecutors called five witnesses and presented dozens of pieces of evidence over the course of the two day trial.
Turner’s former girlfriend testified she went into Turner’s cell phone while he slept because she suspected him of lying to her. She said she was shocked to find multiple videos of Turner molesting two children under the age of 12. The woman hid the phone from Turner and turned it over to Park Hills Police the next day. The woman told jurors Turner was supposed to be watching the children while their mothers worked.
Park Hills Lt. Richard Webster testified he recovered the clothing worn by the girls and the clothing Turner wore in the videos. Webster identified the apartment where the crimes occurred by the furniture and curtains seen in the background of the videos. Webster obtained a warrant for Turner’s arrest. Once Turner was taken into custody, Webster photographed his hand and arm tattoos which matched those seen on the man abusing the children in the videos found on Turner’s phone. Lakeside Park Police Detective James Jackson testified he was called in to download Turner’s cell phones and recovered the videos and hundreds of photographs. Commonwealth’s Detective Nick Klaiss testified about his review of the phone downloads which included the date each video was made. Klaiss told jurors the photographs of the abuse found on Turner’s phone numbered in the hundreds. The jury then watched the videos of the crimes taking place.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders applauded the work and sacrifice of the jurors, saying “It’s one thing to hear testimony about a child being sexually assaulted, but having to watch it with your own eyes is a horrifying experience!” Sanders said, “We know jurors sacrificed a piece of themselves by sitting through this case but their sacrifice provided justice for those children and we appreciate their service.”
Sanders said the only plea offer extended to Turner was also a Life sentence and he hopes this case sends a message to other child molesters. “Kenton County jurors are not going to tolerate this abhorrent behavior and neither are we,” said Sanders. “If you victimize children in this county we will bury you under the prison!”