WARREN Judge: Man convicted of rape isn't predator
The defendant could face up to 89 years in prison.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A 35-year-old Howland man convicted of rape, kidnapping and felonious assault was found innocent of a specification that he was a sexually violent predator.
Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court ruled Monday that he did not think prosecutors proved that Dennis Stambolia was a sexually violent predator.
Had Stambolia been found guilty of that specification, he could have faced life in prison, said Chris Becker, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.
Stambolia, however, could face up to 89 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced after a background check is completed by the county adult probation department, Becker said.
Judge McKay, who heard the case instead of a jury, found Stambolia guilty of all the charges Friday.
The charges also included a firearm specification, which will add at least three years to Stambolia's sentence.
Stambolia, a high school graduate who washed cars at a local auto dealership, had pleaded innocent.
He was arrested Sept. 22, 2002, after the female victim, whom police said he knows, escaped and called police to his home. When Stambolia refused to come out of the house, members of the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department entered and found him in the attic.
Police said the woman had been tied in the basement for several hours. She was able to escape and use a cellular phone to call for help.
Deputy sheriffs and police from the city of Warren and from Howland, Bazetta and Warren townships were sent to the scene.
Police said Stambolia and the woman had attended a wedding Sept. 21 and then camped out near a home in Warren Township.
The next morning, Stambolia asked the woman to help him burglarize a house, and when she refused, he assaulted and raped her, police said.
Police said that after the assault in Warren Township, Stambolia took the woman to his home.