Created on Friday, 06 September 2013 Written by JOEL E. MAST
Third District Court of Appeals judges rejected a rapist’s claims his Aug. 15, 2012, conviction should be overturned.
Terry A. Jones, 44, was found guilty by a Logan County Common Pleas jury of two counts of rape and two counts of gross sexual imposition.
He was sentenced to concurrent terms of 10 years to life on the rape charges and three years for each of the GSI charges.
In his appeal, he argued Judge Mark S. O’Connor erred when he determined the 9-year-old victim was competent to testify and for allowing the girl to testify via closed-circuit video.
The appeals judges disagreed, saying, that despite leading questions during a competency hearing, there was nothing in the process which harmed the defendant’s chance to a fair trial.
They noted, if a new trial were ordered, the victim, now older than 10, would be considered competent to testify without hearing.
Appeals judges noted in their ruling that the defendant did not object during the trial to Judge O’Connor’s ruling allowing the victim to testify via closed-circuit video.
The defendant also failed to show there would have been a different outcome to the trial had the victim testified in the courtroom.
The appeals court did order the case back to Logan County so that the defendant could be fully informed of court costs and fees he must pay.
The convicted rapist is labeled a Tier III sexual offender and is currently housed at the Lebanon Correctional Institution. He is not eligible for parole until June 2022.
CLICK HERE to read a copy of the court's ruling.