Man acquitted of rape charges

Published 9:07 am Saturday, June 7, 2008

An Ohio man was acquitted of rape charges by Mower County District Judge Donald Rysavy Wednesday following a two-day court trial without jury.

Wayne Earl Ezell, 35, had been charged with single felony counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct after a woman reported that he had sexually assaulted her Jan. 11.

According to attorney Evan Larson, the acquittal was likely the result of inconsistent statements from the alleged victim and witnesses.

Email newsletter signup

The criminal complaint said police responded to a 31st Street Southwest home Jan. 11 on reports that residents requested Ezell’s removal from the home.

One man said Ezell “hadn’t been following the rules,” and told police that the alleged victim emerged from her room crying because Ezell had raped her.

The woman said Ezell entered her room after she, he and two others had finished a movie at the house. She told police that he initially started to play with her hair, which escalated to sexual activity despite her protests, the complaint said.

Two witnesses alleged they heard protests from the room.

Ezell had been convicted on Jan. 27, 2007 of first-degree burglary for walking uninvited into a woman’s home and ordering her to take him to Billings, Mont., for work.

The complaint said the woman told police that Ezell also groped her before requesting that they go to a nearby restaurant for a meal. The two went to Austin-based Sportt’s Bar, where the owner called police.

As part of the plea agreement, two counts of felony first-degree burglary and single counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping were dismissed.

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison Feb. 22.