Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Suspect used stun gun, woman says

It left 5 scars, she tells jurors

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - A Monroe woman shook violently, showing a jury how her body reacted to up to 30 jolts from a stun gun.

"Stop! Stop, you're gonna kill me! You're killing me!" Lisa Dunn said she implored her ex-boyfriend, Robert "Joe" Rager, to halt the Jan. 16 attack in her home.

Dunn was the first witness to testify Monday in Rager's trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court, in what police say is a rare instance of a stun gun being used in a criminal act.

A jury of eight women and four men is being asked to decide whether Rager is guilty of four charges: aggravated burglary, two counts of kidnapping and felonious assault. Rager, 34, could get up to 15 years in prison if convicted as charged. The jury could begin deliberations today, officials said.

Assistant Prosecutor Craig Hedric told the jury that Rager and Dunn have a child together, and Rager came to Dunn's home "under the guise" of picking up the child for an appointment to have his photograph taken.

But Rager brought with him a green backpack, which contained "several items that were going to be the tools of his evil," Hedric said. Those included the stun gun, beer, condoms and sex toys.

Dunn, who managed to escape in the midst of the attack, was treated at Middletown Regional Hospital. She told the jury five scars from the stun-gun are still visible.

Police have said Rager confessed that he intended to rape Dunn. Rager's lawyer, Scott Blauvelt, acknowledged: "to a large extent, there's not a dispute over what happened."

"It was an ill-conceived plan of a confused mind," Blauvelt told jurors. But he pointed out that Rager drove to the police station and surrendered..

Blauvelt said he didn't want to minimize what happened to Dunn, but argued Dunn did not suffer "serious physical harm" as defined by law, so evidence would not support a conviction on the first-degree felonies that Rager faces.

E-mail jmorse@enquirer.com

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