Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Portage
Criminal Appeal from the Portage County Court of Common
Pleas, Case No. 2016 CR 00646.
V. Vigluicci, Portage County Prosecutor, and Kristina Reilly,
Assistant Prosecutor (For Plaintiff-Appellee).
P. Agarwal, (For Defendant-Appellant).
V. GRENDELL, J.
Defendant-appellant, William Tell, III, appeals his
conviction and sentence for Rape, following a jury trial in
the Portage County Court of Common Pleas. The issues before
this court are whether victim impact evidence is admissible
in a trial for Rape where the determinative issue is whether
the sexual intercourse between the defendant and the victim
was consensual or coerced; whether a conviction for Rape is
against the manifest weight of the evidence where the
victim's credibility is the primary evidence of guilt and
her testimony contains some statements which are equivocal;
and whether a trial court commits reversible error by not
notifying a defendant at sentencing that he is not to ingest
drugs and must submit to random drug testing. For the
following reasons, we affirm Tell's conviction and
On September 9, 2016, the Portage County Grand Jury indicted
Tell on a single count of Rape, a felony of the first degree
in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2).
On September 23, 2016, Tell was arraigned and entered a plea
of not guilty.
On April 19, 2017, Tell's case was tried before a jury.
The following testimony was given:
Zachary Weiner testified that, in March 2016, he was living
in an apartment at 927 South Water Street in Kent, Ohio, and
that L.T. was a roommate. On the evening of March 4, he was
spending the night in Cleveland Heights.
At about four in the morning (March 5), Weiner received a
call from a very emotional and upset L.T. who claimed she had
been raped. Weiner contacted the Kent Police Department and
drove back to Kent, which took about 40 to 45 minutes. He met
L.T. at the apartment where police were conducting an
investigation. He then drove her to a hospital in Akron to be
Weiner testified that L.T. was "devastated" by the
incident and never returned to live at the apartment.
Officer Dominic Poe of the Kent Police Department, on the
night in question, responded to a reported rape at the Water
Street apartment. He met L.T., who he described as crying and
upset with makeup smeared on her face. She provided a
description of the suspect and narrated the events of the
evening. Officer Poe took pictures of L.T. and the apartment.
Maurina Wagner, on March 5, 2016, was working as a Sexual
Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) at Akron General Hospital and
conducted an examination of L.T. Wagner noted swelling,
discoloration, and "tenderness with palpation" to
her neck and a "linear abrasion on the left side of her
labia majora and tenderness when it was palpated and
swabbed." Wagner explained that such an abrasion may be
caused by a lack of lubrication even during consensual
intercourse and L.T. reported having consensual intercourse
on March 3.
Detective Karen Travis of the Kent Police Department was
assigned to investigate L.T.'s case. Tell was identified
as the suspect in the course of the investigation. Tell
admitted engaging in intercourse with L.T. on the evening in
question but maintained that it was consensual.
Detective Travis testified as follows regarding L.T.'s
phone records. At 2:08 a.m., she received a call from Tell.
At 2:55 a.m., she called a friend, Colton McQuen, who did not
answer. At 2:56 a.m., she received another call from Tell.
Between 4:00 and 4:31 a.m., L.T. called McQuen three more
times. Again, McQuen did not answer. At 4:37 a.m., she called
Beginning at 2:51 a.m., L.T. and McQuen texted each other.
L.T.'s final text to McQuen, sent at an undetermined
time, stated: "Can u for real call me I was just
L.T., a student at Kent State University, testified that, on
the evening of March 4, 2016, she had been drinking with
friends in downtown Kent. Early the next morning, she began
the ten-minute walk to her apartment. As she was walking, she
was joined by Tell, whom she had not met previously. As they
walked they made small talk ...