Rape defendant pleads innocent

Cary Ashby • Aug 29, 2013 at 9:07 PM

A Willard man entered a "not guilty" plea to an allegation he violently raped a 37-year-old Willard woman.

David Barnum, 38, of 213 Park St., is charged with one count of rape in connection with a June 15 incident. If convicted of the first-degree felony, he faces three to 11 years in prison, a $20,000 maximum fine and a lifetime address registration requirement.

Barnum told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway he isn't on probation, but has a prior felony conviction.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said he didn't see any reason for the court to change Barnum's $75,000 bond that was established in Norwalk Municipal Court.

"The defendant has a prior felony record," Leffler said without elaborating.

The suspected June 15 rape happened near the restaurant and lounge in the Holiday Lakes area in Willard, where Barnum was an employee. The Huron County Sheriff's Office arrested Barnum soon afterward and filed a rape complaint June 17.

During the July 29 bond hearing in common pleas court, defense attorney John McMahon said the rape allegation is serious, but told Conway if the case went to trial, Barnum would claim the incident was consensual. In response, assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper said the supposed facts indicate "this was a fairly violent rape."

Barnum, who was indicted earlier this month, is accused of engaging in "sexual conduct with another when the offender purposely compels the other person to submit by force or threat of force," according to court records.

His trial is scheduled for Sept. 10.

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