Appeals court overturns convictions and sentence in 2014 Weathersfield rape case

Staff report


The Warren-based 11th District Court of Appeals has overturned the convictions and 39-years-to-life prison term Brian R. McGhee received in November 2014.

The sentence was handed down in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court after McGhee was convicted of raping a girl 10 times over four years and also committing three counts of gross sexual imposition against her.

The appellate court judges ruled Judge Ronald Rice erred when he allowed Dr. John Melville to testify at the trial about the effects on minors of sexual abuse.

The defense was aware Dr. Melville, an expert in child sexual abuse with the Child Advocacy Center at the Akron Children’s Hospital, was going to be a witness.

But his report was not provided to defense counsel until a few days before the trial, the appellate ruling says.

Prosecutors are expected to provide a copy of a witness’s report at least 21 days before trial unless there is a “good cause shown,” but prosecutors “never made a showing of good cause,” the ruling says.

The ruling, written by Judge Mary Collen O’Toole, with Judges Diane V. Grendell and Thomas R. Wright concurring, said the matter must return to Judge Rice for a new trial.

McGhee, now 46, is in the Noble Correctional Institution, according to the Ohio Bureau of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

He was sentenced Nov. 6, 2014, after being convicted of raping the girl starting when she was 10. McGhee was living on Dogwood Drive Southeast in Weathersfield Township at the time.

At sentencing, McGhee maintained his innocence.

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