Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas Case No. CR-16-606531-A
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Joseph V. Pagano
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor BY: Edward R. Fadel Assistant County
BEFORE: Boyle, J., Stewart, P.J., and Celebrezze, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
J. BOYLE, JUDGE
Defendant-appellant, Raynard McDonall, appeals his rape and
kidnapping convictions and his 20-year sentence. He raises
six assignments of error for our review:
1. The trial court erred by denying the motion to dismiss
because appellant was deprived of his federal and state
rights to a speedy trial and due process by the undue
2.Appellant was deprived of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment
rights where counsel did not timely file pretrial motions,
did not properly impeach the witness with her prior
inconsistent statement and did not object to the flight
instructions being read to the jury.
3. The trial court erred when it denied appellant's
motion for acquittal under Crim.R. 29 because the state
failed to present sufficient evidence to establish beyond a
reasonable doubt the elements necessary to support the
4.Appellant's convictions are against the manifest weight
of the evidence.
5. The trial court erred by failing to merge all allied
offenses of similar import and by imposing separate sentences
for allied offenses which violated appellant's state and
federal rights to due process and protections against double
6. The trial court erred by imposing consecutive sentences
that are contrary to law and not supported by the record.
We find no merit to McDonall's six assignments of error.
We do find, however, that although the trial court stated
that it was waiving the payment of fines and costs at the
sentencing hearing, it imposed costs in the sentencing entry.
We therefore remand for nunc pro tunc correction of the
sentencing entry to reflect what actually occurred at the
Procedural History and Facts
In May 2016, McDonall was indicted on six counts, including
two counts of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02(A)(2), two
counts of aggravated robbery in violation of R.C.
2911.01(A)(1) and (A)(3), and two counts of kidnapping in
violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(2) and (A)(4). One of the
kidnapping counts, R.C. 2905.01(A)(4), also contained a
sexual motivation specification. McDonall was indicted on
these charges after the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation
("BCI") found a "preliminary association"
between McDonall's DNA and the DNA of an unknown male
that was obtained from a victim's rape kit in January
1997 (also referred to as a "CODIS"
hit). The following facts were presented to a
The Attack and Aftermath
The victim testified that on the night of January 18, 1997,
she and her friend went out to celebrate their college
graduation. They went to one bar until it closed, and then
they went to a private club that was open "after
hours." The private club opened around 3:00 a.m. It was
a "neighborhood spot" where "everybody hung
out." The victim was intoxicated that night because she
had at least five or six alcoholic beverages containing
The victim's friend left the after-hours club at some
point, but the victim did not remember her leaving. In the
very early hours of January 19, the victim went to her car to
go home. It was still dark when she got to her car. As she
was leaving, a man forced himself into her car and told her
to drive. The man punched her in the face and threatened her.
He made the victim drive about five or six blocks from the
after-hours club. The victim knew the neighborhood because
her mother lived "two to three streets over."
After the victim parked her car, the man "climbed
over" and got on top of her. He pushed her driver's
seat back and began hitting her in her face at least 10 or 15
times with what she later learned was the rearview mirror of
her car. The man eventually stopped beating the victim and
told her to climb in her back seat and take off her pants,
which she did. She thought that the man might kill her. The
man then climbed on top of her and vaginally raped her two
times, ejaculating both times.
When the man was done raping her, he told her that he was
going to get out of the car and that she should not look at
him. He also told her to wait at least five to ten minutes
before she went anywhere. She complied with what he told her
to do. She waited for "a good 10, 15 minutes, " got
dressed, put her coat on, and then ran to her mother's
house. The victim remembered that the temperature was
"below zero" that night, and she was very cold.
When she got to her mother's house, her younger brother
answered the door. Her brother called 911. She went to the
hospital in an ambulance. Medical personnel obtained a rape
kit from the victim. The victim also talked to police at the
hospital. The victim said that she still has vision issues
with her left eye as a result of the attack.
The victim's friend who she had been out with on the
night of the rape and the victim's then-fiancé,
who came to the hospital on the night of the rape, both
testified at trial. They essentially confirmed what the
victim testified to about their relationship to the victim
and what happened on the night of the rape and the days
following the rape.
The 1997 Investigation
The victim testified that she did not know who attacked her
in 1997. She said that she drove around the neighborhood with
detectives at that time trying to find the man who raped her.
Although she testified that she did not know who raped her,
she agreed that she gave police the names of two possible
suspects in 1997: one was "Carl, " who was her
"college buddy, " and the other was a man who
worked at the after-hours club. She said that she thought her
attacker was "Carl" because he "had
similarities" to her attacker. According to the victim,
both "Carl" and her attacker had similar eyes and a
"dark complexion." She also thought that her
attacker might have been the after-hours employee because she
heard a rumor "in the neighborhood" that he liked
Dr. Vincent Ferrini examined the victim on the morning of the
rape and obtained samples for the rape kit. Dr. Ferrini said
that the victim told him that she thought she recognized her
assailant. The victim told him that she thought her attacker
was "Carl, " with whom she had gone to Glenville
High School. The victim told Dr. Ferrini that
"Carl" jumped in her car and told her to do what he
said or he would hurt her. The victim did not know
"Carl's" last name, and she did not think that
he ever graduated from high school. Dr. Ferrini remembered
that the victim was crying and very upset.
Lieutenant James Plent responded to the hospital in 1997.
Lieutenant Plent collected the rape kit and took it to the
police station. In his report from that time, he had noted
that the victim went to high school with her attacker. He
also noted that the man's name was"Carl" and
that he worked at the after-hours club where the victim had
been the previous night.
Cleveland Police Detective Carl Lessman worked on the
victim's rape case in 1997. He met with the victim many
times during the original investigation. At that time, the
victim came to the police station and looked through folders
of possible suspects. She picked out three men who
"looked like" the suspect. The victim also told the
detective in the original investigation that she believed she
may "have gone to high school" with the man who
raped her. The victim looked through her high school yearbook
to try to find the man, which turned "out to be some guy
named Carl, " but "that lead went nowhere."
The victim also gave Detective Lessman the name of another
possible suspect in 1997. The detective placed this man's
photo in a photo array, after which the victim identified him
as the man who raped her. This man was indicted for the
crimes against the victim, but was later exonerated after his
DNA did not match the DNA from the victim's rape kit.
Detective Lessman said that police towed and processed the
victim's car. They took photos of it and swabs from
different spots in the car, which he believed "came back
with some blood evidence." There was blood found on the
steering wheel, console, and the back passenger side panel.
The detective agreed that the report does not indicate
whether the rearview mirror was retrieved from the
victim's car. He could not say what happened to the
The 1997 case was dismissed after the charged suspect was
exonerated because police did not have any other leads on the
The Revived Investigation
Scott Bellinger testified that he investigates "cold
case sexual assaults" for the Cuyahoga County
Prosecutor's Office. Investigator Bellinger became
involved in this case in September 2015 after the CODIS hit
preliminarily matched McDonall's DNA to the victim's
1997 rape kit. He prepared a photo array for the victim with
McDonall's photo in it. He used a 1997 photo of McDonall
and obtained a blind administrator to show the array to the
victim. The victim circled McDonall's photo and wrote
below it: "Suspect No. 3 looks familiar."
Investigator Bellinger obtained "buccal swabs" from
McDonall to compare with the DNA from the victim's 1997
rape kit. He placed the known swabs in an envelope to be
transported to BCI for DNA testing. Investigator Bellinger
said that when he prepared the envelope to go to the lab, he
filled out a form. The form included his interoffice case
number, the lab number for this case, and the "RMS
number, which is the Cleveland Police Department report
number, " but he forgot to write McDonall's name on
it. Investigator Bellinger further testified that his
"submission sheet" also "said Raynard
McDonall." When he received the report back from the
lab, however, he was surprised to see that it said
"unlabeled swabs." Investigator Bellinger went to
the lab to clarify that the unlabeled swabs were taken from
Lynda Eveleth, a forensic scientist in the DNA division of
the Ohio BCI, performed DNA testing on samples from the
victim's rape kit compared to Raynard's DNA. Eveleth
testified that Raynard's DNA standard was contained in an
envelope labeled "standard for Raynard McDonall, "
but the swabs inside the envelope were unlabeled. She
prepared a report indicating that the unlabeled swabs from
the envelope labeled "standard from Raynard
McDonall" matched the male DNA found in the victim's
After Eveleth submitted her report, she was contacted by
Investigator Scott Bellinger. Investigator Bellinger came to
Eveleth's lab to identify the unlabeled swabs. Eveleth
then generated a new report indicating that the unlabeled
swabs were "identified to be the standard of Raynard
McDonall on May 4, 2016 by Investigator Scott Bellinger of
the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office." She
concluded that the DNA profile from the rape kit matched
McDonall's standard DNA profile.
Investigator Bellinger also spoke with the victim, the
victim's friend who she was with on the night of the
rape, the victim's fiancé at the time of the rape,
and the man who was originally charged with the rape. After
obtaining the DNA match, Investigator Bellinger sought an
indictment against McDonall. Investigator Bellinger agreed
that a 1997 photo of the man originally charged with raping
the victim did not look anything like McDonall's 1997
McDonall did not appear for his arraignment on June 9, 2016.
He was arrested about a week later in Wood County by Sheriff
Deputy Kert Appelhans. Deputy Appelhans testified that he was
at a Circle K when he began randomly running license plates.
He ran the license plate of an unoccupied vehicle, and
discovered that the vehicle was registered to an owner with a
felony arrest warrant. Deputy Appelhans then saw a man
walking toward him who matched the description on the
warrant. As Deputy Appelhans got out of his marked vehicle,
he said that McDonall saw him and immediately turned away
from him and began walking the other way. Deputy Appelhans
called out to McDonall, who complied with his order. He took
McDonall into custody. When McDonall's car was later
inventoried, police found a backpack with clothes, books,
CDs, and McDonall's passport.
At the close of the state's case, McDonall moved for a
Crim.R. 29 acquittal, which the trial court denied. McDonall
rested and renewed his Crim.R. 29 motion, which the court
Verdict and Sentence
The jury found McDonall guilty of rape in violation of R.C.
2907.02(A)(2) and kidnapping in violation of R.C.
2905.01(A)(4) with a sexual motivation specification. Before
sentencing, McDonall argued that his convictions for rape and
kidnapping were allied offenses of similar import. The trial
court disagreed and imposed an aggregate sentence of 20 years
in prison: 10 years for ...