Saturday, June 19, 1999
DEENA WINTER, Bismarck Tribune
Larry Rubey celebrated his 47th birthday on Thursday. He won't be celebrating another birthday as a free man for a long time: A judge sentenced the Mandan trucker to 13 years in the State Penitentiary for molesting a Washburn girl in 1996 and 1997.
The prison sentence was longer than usual for a sex crime -- but Rubey's history of molesting girls is longer than usual, too. A presentence investigation turned up a string of women who said Rubey molested them, too.
This will be Rubey's second stint in the state prison: In 1988 he was convicted of molesting another girl, but his sentence was deferred for three years. He violated probation in 1990 and was sent to prison for five years. He was released in 1994.
In a letter to the judge, the victim of that molestation called Rubey "a very sick and dangerous man."
"He is very manipulative and can easily get into the minds of people, especially little girls and the moms that love them," she wrote. Rubey's latest sentence came after a jury found him guilty of having sexual intercourse with a Washburn girl when she was 14 and 15 years old. According to court documents, the first incident occurred after the girl complained of menstrual cramps, and Rubey had sex with her under the pretext that he was finding out what was wrong with her. This occurred in the presence of the girl's mother.
The second incident occurred in 1997 after Rubey convinced the same girl to have sex with him because he has multiple sclerosis and wanted to "have a virgin" before he died.
During the sentencing hearing on Thursday, Rubey's attorney questioned
why the girl's mother wasn't prosecuted for her role in the girl's molestation.
On Friday, McLean County State's Attorney Merle Torkelson said she considered
charging the mother, but believes the mother was under the control of Rubey.
Torkelson said Rubey convinced the woman and her daughter that he was a
member of a paramilitary group that he could summon to kill them.
The judge who presided over Rubey's trial also referred to Rubey's control over his wife, saying she was "unable or unwilling" to help her daughter.
"Your household was one that was ruled by a tyrant -- and you were that tyrant," South Central District Judge James Vukelic told Rubey on Thursday. The judge was also disturbed by two letters that were written to him by two women from Illinois. Both of them professed their love for Rubey, and indicated they didn't believe he was guilty and were involved in relationships with him.
"You have a penchant -- a talent, if you will -- for getting some people to like you and believe you," Vukelic said.
He said Rubey was very likely to "dominate" other women and needed to be separated from society and more potential victims.
"I firmly believe you do whatever you want to do, whatever gives you pleasure," Vukelic said. "I don't think you think you've done anything wrong, and I doubt you're ever going to change, but I could be wrong." Rubey's two convictions were for gross sexual imposition and corruption of a minor. Vukelic sentenced him to 12 years in prison for the GSI and one year for the corruption conviction. The maximum penalty for the two crimes was 21 years -- and Vukelic indicated he would have put Rubey away even longer if he didn't have multiple sclerosis. Some of Rubey's victims were in the courtroom during his sentencing hearing, and they expressed doubt that he even has MS.
Rubey's attorney, Greg Runge, had recommended probation, rather than incarceration. He said imprisonment would be "tantamount to life imprisonment" because he doubts Rubey will get "proper treatment" for his MS.
"Based on his present condition he's not going to last five years in prison," Runge told the judge.
He also argued for probation because he claimed Rubey is "numb from the waist down."
"He can't do anything anymore," Runge said.
After the judge handed down his sentence, Rubey pleaded guilty to a third charge that had been pending, corruption of a minor. In accordance with a plea agreement with the prosecutor, he will serve one year, but it will be served at the same time as the 13-year sentence. In pleading guilty to that charge, Rubey admitted he repeatedly had sex with a 17-year-old girl he and his wife picked up while trucking through Oregon last year. According to court documents, the girl said Rubey convinced her to have sex with him once or twice every two weeks in an effort to get her pregnant because his wife couldn't have children.
The court documents indicate Rubey had sex with the girl while they trucked through the Midwest and western states, sometimes in the presence of Rubey's wife. In the spring of 1996, Rubey and his wife bought a house in Washburn and the sexual intercourse continued there, although Rubey's wife claimed she tried to stop it. The girl eventually ran away from the Rubeys.
Rubey has 10 days to appeal Vukelic's sentence to the state Supreme