Case History: Our client was in a non-exclusive romantic relationship for several years. In early 2016, the significant other’s best friend initiated sexual conversations with our client. This escalated into sending nude pictures and increased sexually charged conversations. Shortly thereafter, our client along with the significant other, the significant other’s best friend, and a friend of our client were hanging out and drinking at the friend’s residence. While the significant other was asleep in another room, our client and the significant other’s best friend began having sex in the bedroom, while our client’s friend began recording the sexual act on a cell phone. The significant other heard the sexual encounter, barged into the bedroom, became visibly upset at the situation and punched both parties in the face. Once this occurred, the significant other’s best friend accused our client of rape in order to salvage the relationship with the best friend.
Our Defense: The State of Ohio charged our client with two counts of rape; one by force and one alleging the accuser was too intoxicated to consent to the sex act. We knew if our client was convicted of either count, it would completely destroy our client’s life and our client would likely spend decades in prison, so we immediately began investigating the background of the accuser as well as all parties present during the interaction. In addition, we filed numerous motions on our client’s behalf in order to eliminate all irrelevant and prejudicial evidence. The case progressed to trial in early 2018 where we exhibited evidence the accuser had sex with our client’s friend a few minutes prior to engaging in sexual intercourse with our client. Further, the accuser stated the sexual act with the friend was consensual, thereby negating the charge of being too intoxicated to consent. We also pointed to the video, which clearly showed a non-forcible sex act, where the accuser is heard moaning. During our cross examination of the accuser, we elicited numerous inconsistencies in the accuser’s story and we were able to attack the accuser’s credibility. After a five-day trial, the jury deliberated for approximately ten hours and could not reach a verdict. The Judge declared a mistrial.
The State of Ohio elected to bring the case again. We basically started the case over from the beginning and had to re-wind everything. Therefore, we again filed numerous motions on our client’s behalf as well as advocated on our client’s behalf at every step of the process. In addition, we investigated the backgrounds of all witnesses and performed our own independent research with the use of experts for each evidentiary item anticipated to be utilized at trial. The second rape trial was set to commence at the end of the summer 2018. Our firm tenaciously defended our client during the re-trial and focused on the video, which we were able to enhance with the use of an expert for better sound quality. Also, we again vigorously cross examined all witness, including the accuser to point out the accuser’s inconsistencies and lack of credibility. After a four-day trial and several hours of deliberating, the jury found our client not guilty.