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TRUMBULL COUNTY Man convicted of rape twice seeks release pending trial



Published: Mon, March 17, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The defendant is in the state local prison.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A hearing today before Judge W. Wyatt McKay in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court will determine if Steven Henderson, twice convicted of rape, will be freed on bond again pending possible retrial.

Atty. Alison Clark, an assistant state public defender, filed a motion this week arguing Henderson should be let out of Trumbull Correctional Institution.

Prosecutors could not be reached.

The 11th District Court of Appeals in December reversed Henderson's conviction and ordered his case sent back to the trial court.

The prosecutor's office has appealed that decision to the Ohio Supreme Court.

If the high court refuses to hear that appeal, the case goes back to the prosecutor to decide how to proceed.

Henderson, 34, of Warren, was convicted twice of raping an 11-year-old girl.

The appeals court issued a 12-page opinion stating Henderson deserved a new trial because of ineffective counsel in his second trial because Atty. Greg Robey of Cleveland did not call the doctor who examined the victim to testify.

Henderson is serving life in prison with parole eligibility after 10 years.

Case history

He was first convicted in 1998 and got the same sentence, but that was overturned, and he was released from prison on $50,000 bond to await a second trial.

The appeals court judges cited ineffective counsel and prosecutorial misconduct in overturning the first conviction.

The victim, who is now 16, testified during the two trials that Henderson raped her in December 1997 when he was baby-sitting her and her 4-year-old brother.

The girl did not report the rape for a year, saying Henderson threatened to hurt her if she told anyone.

Defense attorneys said the girl fabricated the story.




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