Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Grand jury gets gang-rape case


Judge considers video evidence

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — After a Hamilton police officer gave graphic testimony about the videotape of what is alleged to have been a New Year's Eve gang rape, a judge found sufficient evidence Tuesday to send the case to a Butler County grand jury.

        As the Hamilton Municipal Court hearing concluded, angry shouting erupted in a hallway outside. A half-dozen police officers ran to break up what was apparently a confrontation between supporters of the woman and relatives of one defendant, but bystanders appeared to have already separated them.

[photo] Co-defendants Justin Walker Bowman (left) and Daymon Eugene Anderson (foreground) stand as their hearing in a gang-rape case ends Tuesday.
(Dick Swaim photo)
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        Emotions overflowed after the parties had spent more than an hour listening to Officer Mark Hayes' description of the videotape — and defense lawyers' suggestions that the woman may have participated willingly in some of the acts.

        Officer Hayes said the tape shows four men sexually assaulting an apparently intoxicated woman who repeatedly said “no” and tried to use her hands to stop her attackers.

        Someone also spat upon the 26-year-old woman, poured beer on her back and used an aerosol can of whipped cream to write “2001” on her, Officer Hayes said, adding: “One of the suspects says that he's fresh out of ideas as to what else they can do to her.”

        Defense lawyers, who were allowed to view the tape outside the courtroom, questioned whether the woman was drunk, noting she sometimes seemed to be in control of herself.

        Police have said witnesses reported the woman was drinking heavily during a New Year's Eve party in the 300 block of Clinton Avenue, where the videotaped events occurred. The woman, who reportedly was passed out until sometime Jan. 1, did not report the attack to police until Jan. 2.

        In earlier portions of the videotape, the woman was mugging for the camera, dancing and walking. But just before one sex act, “you can see her laying perfectly still, with her eyes closed and her mouth open,” Officer Hayes said.

        An attorney representing Stephan Wesley Tremble, 23, of Lexington, also said the woman previously had a sexual relationship with Mr. Tremble and may have voluntarily performed oral sex on his client during the alleged attack.

        However, Judge John G. Rosmarin found probable cause that illegal acts may have occurred and bound the case over to the grand jury. He also increased bonds for all four suspects to $50,000 apiece.

        Mr. Tremble, who had been freed after his family posted $10,000 cash, rejoined his three co-defendants in the Butler County Jail: Justin Walker Bowman, 21, of Fairfield; Michael Lynn Reid, 22, of Springdale and Daymon Eugene Anderson, 24, of Springfield Township. They previously had been held in lieu of $20,000 bonds.
       



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