March 26, 2004
KNOXVILLE (AP) -- A Knox County judge has ruled a new rape trial for Thomas "Zoo Man" Huskey will be held in Chattanooga.
Huskey was convicted of raping three women in the early 1990's and is serving a 44-year prison term.
He had also been convicted of kidnapping and raping a fourth woman, but that case was overturned. [ conviction overturned ] The appeals court said it was wrong to try all of the cases together.
Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner said there's been so much local publicity on the case, he doubts a fair trial could be conducted in Knoxville.
Prosecutors say Huskey carried out a series of rapes at the Knoxville Zoo elephant barn, where he helped care for the animals. Prostitutes who said Huskey took them to the zoo for sex tagged him with the nickname "Zoo Man."
Huskey is also accused of killing four women in 1992 and leaving their bodies in a wooded section of eastern Knox County. A jury deadlocked on those charges in 1999.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
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