HUNTINGTON — A man accused of raping two women last year was released on bond Tuesday after completing his jail sentence for a previous sexually motivated battery conviction.
Joseph Chase Hardin, 22, of Huntington, is charged with four counts of second-degree sexual assault related to two fall 2018 incidents involving two 18-year-old women. His trial is set for Feb. 25, 2020.
Prior to those charges being filed earlier this year, Hardin had been placed on three years’ probation after being convicted of battery in 2017 in response to another woman’s sexual assault allegations.
Because of the new allegations, Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred E. Ferguson revoked Hardin’s probation in that earlier case and Hardin was sentenced to serve a one-year jail sentence in July. However, Hardin maxed out his sentence Thursday, about six months after sentencing.
He remained jailed due to the new charges, however, because a bond had not been set. A bond was set Friday morning and he was released on home confinement Tuesday afternoon.
According to an order entered Friday, a $50,000 standard condition bond, with the requirement for home confinement and banning contact with his alleged victims, was set by Cabell Circuit Judge Christopher D. Chiles. Ferguson, Hardin’s assigned judge, was out of the office this week.
In the two new cases, Huntington Police Detective Ted Backus previously testified that the first assault, which was reported to police in November 2018, occurred Oct. 7, 2018, in a vehicle in the parking lot of a Huntington museum. Sometime later a second allegation was made against Hardin to police. That alleged rape occurred Sept. 1, 2018, at off-campus student housing in Huntington as the pair was watching a movie.
Hardin was a Marshall student at the time of all the attacks, but was expelled by the university after the new allegations came to light. His battery victim and two new alleged sexual assault victims attended Marshall at the time of the allegations.
At a November hearing, his attorneys said Hardin has a job lined up and plans to take courses online through Ohio University upon release.
He is set to return to court Tuesday, Dec. 17.