Trial starts for man accused of raping a young relative


YOUNGSTOWN

Attorneys delivered their opening statements this morning in the trial of a Youngstown man accused of raping a young relative over a period of five years.

“He couldn’t be a normal boy,” Assistant Prosecutor Steven Yacovone told the jury. “And that’s because he was being raped by this defendant.”

Kenneth Thomas, 38, of Hubbard Road, faces 19 counts of rape for alleged actions investigators say occurred from the time the victim was 9 until he was 14.

Sixteen of those charges occurred before the alleged victim was 13 and carry the possibility of life sentences.

Defense Atty. Anthony Meranto countered that the boy himself has never accused Thomas of rape and the victim’s mother has an agenda against Thomas.

“If [the victim] says he was raped, it will be the first time anyone hears it out of his mouth,” Meranto said.

He also argued the agencies which investigate rape accusations work from a presumption of guilt, and said he would show that through cross examination.

Officials expect the trial to continue through Wednesday.

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