FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 13CR088081
G. WILMS, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
P. WILL, Prosecuting Attorney, and RICHARD A. GRONSKY,
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
JENNIFER HENSAL, JUDGE.
Jason Whitfield appeals his convictions from the Lorain
County Court of Common Pleas. This Court affirms.
According to the victim, she and Mr. Whitfield had been
dating for about nine months prior to the events giving rise
to this case. In September 2013, the victim's father
dropped her off at Mr. Whitfield's apartment. Shortly
thereafter, the victim's mother met the victim in the
parking lot of Mr. Whitfield's apartment complex to give
the victim her social-security money. The victim then
returned to Mr. Whitfield's apartment.
According to the victim, at some point on the day that her
father dropped her off, Mr. Whitfield pushed a large
television in front of the apartment door and proceeded to
beat her with the broken leg of a chair, urinate on her, and
burn her with cigarettes. Mr. Whitfield also held a knife to
her chest and forced his penis into her mouth. According to
the victim, she did not feel free to leave, and could not
move the large television while Mr. Whitfield beat her. Two
days later, while Mr. Whitfield was asleep, the victim pushed
the television away from the door and escaped the apartment.
Her mother took her to the police station where she reported
the abuse, and then to the hospital, where she was evaluated
by a SANE nurse.
A grand jury indicted Mr. Whitfield on four counts of
kidnapping, two counts of rape, and three counts of felonious
assault. All of the kidnapping counts and two of the
felonious-assault counts contained sexual-motivation
specifications. The case proceeded to a bench trial in
December of 2018, more than five years after the incident.
At trial, the victim testified as to the events described
above, but admitted that she had difficulty remembering
certain details. She also indicated that Mr. Whitfield hit
her so many times that it was difficult to remember exactly
what happened, and that the ordeal traumatized her. She
further indicated that she takes antipsychotic medications
that affect her memory, but do not affect her ability to tell
The detective who investigated the matter testified that it
is not uncommon for victims who have undergone traumatic
events to forget the details of an event. The SANE nurse
testified similarly, indicating that trauma victims often
have memory lapses, provide varying versions of the events,
and repress certain memories.
The victim's father and mother also testified. The
victim's mother testified that the victim seemed fine
when she met her in the parking lot to give her the
social-security money on the day the victim's father
dropped her off at Mr. Whitfield's apartment. She
testified that she called the victim numerous times after
that, but that the victim did not pick up until two days
later. When she answered, the victim's mother reminded
her about an upcoming appointment that she was required to
attend, and the victim told her mother that she would meet
her in the parking lot. When the victim got into her
mother's car, the victim's mother observed bruises,
scratches, and burn marks all over her body. She then drove
the victim to the police station, and then to the hospital.
The victim's father similarly testified that the victim
did not answer his calls while at Mr. Whitfield's
apartment. He also testified that the victim did not have any
injuries on the day he dropped her off.
The defense presented no witnesses, and the trial court took
the matter under advisement. It later found Mr. Whitfield
guilty of three counts of kidnapping and three counts of
felonious assault, but not guilty of the accompanying
sexual-motivation specifications. It found him not guilty of