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Rape trial involving former high school football star continues

Wire • Feb 18, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Jurors in the trial of a former Pickerington Central High School football star watched a videotape this morning that shows three Pickerington police officers talking to him and the classmate he is accused of raping after police stopped the car they were riding in for speeding.

Roger L. Lewis Jr., now 19, is charged with two counts of rape. He is accused of raping the classmate when they were high-school seniors, once on Dec. 2, 2011, and again on Jan. 6 last year.

Lewis said the sex was consensual, his attorneys, Neil Rosenberg and Lewis Williams, have told jurors. The girl was infatuated with the standout wide receiver, who was being recruited by Ohio State University, his attorneys have said.

The classmate, now 19, told jurors last week that she was forced to have sex against her will and that she had struggled and said “no.” The Dispatch does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault.

Pickerington police pulled her car over for speeding on the night of Jan. 6, 2012. The stop occurred about 8:25 p.m., a short time after she said she was raped in the back seat of her car by Lewis while it was parked in a partially built section of the Fox Glen subdivision.

Police had been called by a homeowner who thought the parked car was suspicious. They then spotted the car speeding and pulled it over.

Dashboard camera video from a police cruiser shows three officers removing Lewis from the car and putting him in the cruiser. They then talked to the young woman.

Neither Lewis nor the classmate said anything during the traffic stop about having had sex. His attorneys have suggested that she would have told officers then if she had been raped. Prosecutors have told jurors she was too traumatized.

On Jan. 9, she reported to high-school administrators that she had been raped, and they called police. On Jan. 10 and Jan. 31, investigators interviewed Lewis, who told them the sex had been consensual.

The attorneys are expected to make their closing arguments Tuesday and send the case to the jury.


Mary Beth Lane - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

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