Appellate court rules confession in rape case inadmissible

YOUNGSTOWN — A three-judge panel of the 7th District Court of Appeals has ruled unanimously that a statement to police by a former Canfield physician charged with raping a female patient is inadmissible in his trial.

Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office staff had appealed a ruling by visiting Judge Thomas J. Pokorny of common pleas court that excluded the statement former physician Larry Lee Smith made to Canfield police on Oct. 8, 2010.

Smith, 73, was charged with raping the patient during an Oct. 4, 2010, office visit.

“The trial court applied the appropriate legal standard when it found that appellee’s [Smith’s] will was overborne and his capacity for self-determination was critically impaired due to coercive conduct by the police,” during a 47-minute, secretly recorded interrogation, the appeals panel ruled today.

For the complete story, read Saturday's Vindicator and

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