COVINGTON, Ky. — A 17-year-old who started committing sex crimes when he was in the eighth grade was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Monday.
Joseph Eubank, a former student at Covington Catholic High School, will be eligible for parole after 8 ½ years, when he would still be in his mid-20s. He pleaded guilty to rape and three counts of sexual abuse against four different minor girls.
Reading a statement, Eubank apologized, asked for forgiveness, and said he hoped to make something positive out of his life.
“Despite my sentence, I still have many dreams. I still have aspirations for the future. I’m going to do everything possible to take these horrible circumstances and turn them around into a positive,” Eubank said. "I hope and pray everyone who has been impacted by my actions can do the same.”
WATCH Eubank's statement:
The sentencing was conducted through Zoom video conferencing, with Eubank and his attorney at one location, the judge in his courtroom and the prosecutor and victims and their families elsewhere because of social distancing orders and crowd limits due to COVID-19.
Eubank said he had plenty of time to reflect while in jail for the last 11 months.
“For a long time, I had trouble accepting the fact that I was capable of doing the things I’m accused of,” Eubank said. “I come from a great family. My parents raised me in the best environment possible – a house filled with compassion and kindness.
“I am sorry for the people I hurt. I am sorry for the families. I hope and pray that over time they will be able to find it in their hearts to forgive me.
“I have no doubt I will come out on the other side a different person.”
Eubank, who was tried as an adult, was sentenced to consecutive terms of 10 years for rape and five years for each of the three sexual abuse counts. In a plea deal, Eubank avoided the possibility of 20 years on the rape charge and having to wait 17 years to become eligible for parole. He becomes parole-eligible after serving 85% of his rape sentence.
He is scheduled to be formally sentenced as an adult on Oct. 5 after his 18th birthday on Sept. 30.