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Hyder gets 10 year prison sentence

Former Scappoose veterinarian gets decade behind bars for sexual abuse of daughter
by: Submitted, Jack Hyder, the former owner of a Scappoose veterinary clinic, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in the Washington State Penitentiary.

A former Scappoose veterinarian was sentenced Tuesday, Jan. 8, to a decade in the Washington State Penitentiary after a jury in November found him guilty of molesting one of his daughters.

Jack Hyder, who also goes by the name Johannes Heiter-Krieger, was sentenced in Grays Harbor Superior Court to 78 months on a second-degree child molestation conviction and 42 months for second-degree incest.

'I think the sentence was appropriate, and the court really put a lot of time in the reasoning behind it,' said Katherine Lee Svoboda, who prosecuted the case for the Grays Harbor District Attorney's Office.

Hyder, 48, owned and operated the Scappoose Animal Hospital located at 22500 E. Columbia Ave., Suite 117. Hyder has since sold the business.

When released, Hyder will additionally be subject to between 36 and 48 months of post prison supervision, Svoboda said.

During the criminal trial, the jury determined that Hyder had abused a position of trust to orchestrate the sexual abuse against his daughter. Superior Court Judge F. Mark McCauley used that determination, as well as submitted letters from the victim, as an aggravating factor that compounded the sentence imposed against Hyder.

Sam Amirante represented Hyder, and said the sentence represents a victory for the defendant.

'He was looking at 25 to life, life without parole, and that's gone. So that's a big victory,' Amirante said from his office outside of Chicago, Ill. 'This was a very, very favorable result for us.'

Amirante said his office will appeal the verdict and sentence, arguing that it is unclear what specific criminal

acts the jury considered when it rendered its guilty verdict against Hyder.

'It was our position that the state should have…directed the jury as to what facts or acts of the defendant formed the basis for the molestation,' Amirante said. 'He has a right to know what he's been convicted on.'

'It's not over. We're still claiming his innocence,' Amirante said.

State arguments and victim testimony placed the crimes as occurring before the victim was 12 years old. The jury ruled, however, that the crimes occurred when the victim was between 14 and 17 years old, narrowing the sentencing guidelines Hyder would be subject to.

'Beyond a reasonable doubt goes beyond what you believe. It's what you can prove,' Svoboda said. '[The jury] obviously found that the abuse did happen, because they obviously found it was multiple instances over a period of time.'

Two of Hyder's daughters were listed in the original complaint against Hyder. The jury determined that there was sufficient evidence to bring a guilty verdict for crimes against only the eldest daughter.

The sentencing procedure lasted the entire day Jan. 8. Amirante filed several motions following the sentence announcement that included arguments for a retrial and to set aside the jury verdict. Those motions were denied.

Prior to the criminal trial, several other charges against Hyder were dropped, including first-degree rape and first-degree molestation. The trail started on Oct. 31.

Though an appeal is expected, Hyder's sentencing is the end result of more than five years of legal wrangling since the daughters first reported Hyder's actions to an aunt in New York. In May 2003, the aunt contacted Grays Harbor Sheriff's Detective Ed McGowan, who opened an investigation into Hyder.

The abuse started against the oldest daughter, who is now 22 years old, in 1994 when the family was living in Ocean Shores, Wash.