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State v. Ryan

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga

December 26, 2019

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
TREVOR RYAN, Defendant-Appellant.

          Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case No. CR-16-607638-A

         JUDGMENT: AFFIRMED

          Michael C. O'Malley, Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney, and Kevin E. Bringman, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          Mark A Stanton, Cuyahoga County Public Defender, and Robert Blanshard McCaleb, Assistant County Public Defender, for appellant

          JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION

          LARRY A. JONES, SR, JUDGE

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Trevor Ryan ("Ryan") appeals his convictions for felonious assault and kidnapping, which were rendered after a bench trial. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

         Factual and Procedural History

         {¶ 2} The incident giving rise to this case occurred in June 2016, when, by Ryan's own admission, he assaulted the victim, his then-girlfriend. In July 2016, a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indicted Ryan with one count each of felonious assault, domestic violence, and kidnapping. After the bench trial, the trial court found him guilty on all counts and sentenced him to an aggregate three-year prison term. The following facts were adduced at trial.

         {¶ 3} At the time of the incident, the victim and Ryan were, as mentioned, dating; they were living together. The victim was employed as a dancer at the Hustler Club, a downtown Cleveland male entertainment club. The victim worked the night of the incident; Ryan dropped her off, went out downtown for a little while, and then returned to the Hustler Club near the end of her shift.

         {¶ 4} The victim testified that when Ryan returned to the club, he started talking to an old friend of hers, Rodney. Everything appeared to be fine, and at the end of her shift, the victim left the patron area to go to a dressing room to get changed. As soon as she left the patron area, she received text messages from Ryan accusing her of sleeping with Rodney.

         {¶ 5} The victim got dressed and went outside to find Ryan. Ryan pulled up in the car and she got in. She testified that as soon as she got in the car, Ryan yelled at her and assaulted her. According to the victim, Ryan continuously assaulted her; first he grabbed her head and hit it against the passenger side window, and then he grabbed her by her throat. She testified that it was as if Ryan "wanted to hurt [her], but didn't want to break the window." And he was driving in an "insane" manner: she testified that Ryan "was trying to beat me up with the car, not just his hands. * * * [he was] slamming on the brakes, trying to get around other cars, trying to go fast." She testified that at one point, she grabbed on to the dashboard so hard that she broke part of the plastic pieces to the vent. The victim testified that she repeatedly tried to get out of the car, but Ryan would speed up and make it impossible. Ryan was driving on West 25th Street, where there were groups of people outside of bars and restaurants. She was dismayed that no one attempted to help her.

         {¶ 6} According to the victim, Ryan got on the highway, and unsuccessfully attempted to throw her out of the car. During the course of driving, Ryan hit the emergency brake on the car and he had to get off the highway. He was still assaulting the victim; a bystander saw, and confronted Ryan. Ryan got out of the car, and the victim got into the driver's seat and drove away.

         {¶ 7} The victim testified that during the assault she lost consciousness three times: as soon as Ryan attacked her upon getting into the car, when he was driving on West 25th Street, and when the bystander was yelling at Ryan. During each of those episodes, Ryan held his hand to her throat, which caused her to lose consciousness. She also testified that she urinated on herself during the assault.

         {¶ 8} After she took control of the car, the victim drove back to the Hustler Club. A friend at the club drove her to MetroHealth Hospital. The victim described her experience at MetroHealth as the "worst experience I've ever had in my whole life." She testified that she was in a "hallway laying next to a gunshot victim who literally had a bullet taken out of their leg like it was nothing in the hallway." She spoke with a social worker, but no medical professional treated her. The social worker's record indicated that the victim told her that she had been "choked" and "strangled."[1] The records further stated that the ...


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