Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Teresa Simpson
Gazette Reporter 

Pullman businessman convicted after trial

Hudak convicted of one count of child molestation

 

January 19, 2023



COLFAX— According to a media release by Whitman County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tessa Scholl, Pullman businessman Viktor Hudak, who faced trial Tuesday, Jan. 17, was convicted of one count of child molestation in the first degree and faces 51 to 68 months to life in prison.

Whitman County Judge Gary Libey set a hearing for Feb. 17, 2023, to determine Hudak’s sentence.

“The survivor’s remarkable courage and strength to testify at trial was essential in obtaining the conviction,” Scholl said. “I will argue for the maximum penalty allowed by law for this conviction.”

On July 24, the 11-year-old victim and her six-year-old sister went to the creek near the play fields in Pullman. Reports state that while swimming in the creek, the girls saw Hudak above them on the bridge.

According to the release, Hudak then went below the bridge and contacted the girls. The survivor noticed that Hudak had an erection. The girls then went to the play field were Hudak boosted the six-year-old into the tree, after which he reached over with his hand and touched the survivor’s buttocks. The survivor and her sister returned home and the survivor immediately told her father and stepmother.

Scholl also released that the jury heard a testimony from another survivor and Officer Nathan Padrta regarding the 2019 case. During which Hudak grabbed the survivor’s buttocks several times while she was shopping in Hudak’s music store, Atom Heart Music. During the 2019 case, Hudak was charged with, and plead guilty to, assault in the fourth degree with sexual motivation.

A thorough investigation was conducted by the Pullman Police Department and the conviction was made possible by the hard work of Detective Sontgerath, Sergeant Alex Gordon, Officer Heidi Lambley and Officer Nathan Padrta.

 

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