Fairborn rape trial begins


By Anna Bolton - adewine@aimmediamidwest.com



Anna Bolton | Greene County News Defense attorney Patrick Mulligan (left), defendant Dakota Lacey and Judge Stephen Wolaver wait as a witness approaches the stand.


XENIA — The jury trial for a Fairborn man accused of raping a 12-year-old during Christmas break began in Greene County Common Pleas Court Sept. 25.

Dakota Lacey, 24, was charged with rape, gross sexual imposition and importuning — a first-degree felony and two third-degree felonies — according to an indictment filed in February.

According to a police report, the alleged victim was staying at Lacey’s home on Redbank Drive during the holiday when the alleged incident occurred. Reportedly, the two had smoked marijuana in the defendant’s “man cave” and were left alone in the house when the defendant asked her to lock the doors, and then engaged in sexual activity with her.

Accompanied by a Michael’s House comfort dog, the now-13-year-old took the stand for nearly two hours after a jury was selected. Assistant prosecutor Cheri Stout asked her a series of questions and defense attorney Patrick Mulligan followed with cross-examination.

“He told me that he wanted to teach me about sex,” the girl said, recalling the week of the alleged incident in December.

She testified that during the holiday she confided in her aunt about what happened, who immediately told the girl’s mom. The three said they went to the Fairborn Police Department and then to Dayton Children’s Hospital for a medical exam.

“She was crying — very upset,” her mom said.

Testimony also revealed that the victim participated in a control call set up by detectives at Fairborn Police Department. An audio recording of the phone call was played in open court for the jury. Immediately, the victim can be heard reminding the voice identified as Lacey’s that she’s been visiting a school counselor.

“I think I need to talk to him about what happened with us,” the female voice says on one end of the phone.

“No, don’t, I’ll go to jail, [victim’s name],” the male voice replies.

Throughout the call, the voice repeats this — or, “I’ll go to prison” — multiple times.

According to the defense, Lacey did not handle the call well, but it also does not prove his guilt.

“The child starts off with a lie. And my client does not handle that well. He just wants her to shut up,” Mulligan said during opening statements.

Mulligan also brought up the victim’s depression, linking that to her behavior and attributing her “adjustment issues” to her father’s recent death.

Mulligan asked the jury to return a “not proven, not guilty” verdict due to the lack of evidence in the case.

“Basically, the allegation of rape is not going to be supported by any physical evidence whatsoever,” he said. “It is not going to match any of the evidence of those who were with our client and her on 12-23 at all.”

Stout asked the jury to listen to the victim’s testimony and ultimately find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The defendant, interviewed by Detective Pettit later, denies anything ever happened, claims he was never alone with her whatsoever,” she said. “It still doesn’t explain the phone call … ”

Lacey is currently being held in the Greene County Jail on a $100,000 bond with no 10 percent. Testimony will continue Tuesday, Sept. 26 in Judge Stephen Wolaver’s courtroom.

Anna Bolton | Greene County News Defense attorney Patrick Mulligan (left), defendant Dakota Lacey and Judge Stephen Wolaver wait as a witness approaches the stand.
http://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/09/web1_lacey.jpgAnna Bolton | Greene County News Defense attorney Patrick Mulligan (left), defendant Dakota Lacey and Judge Stephen Wolaver wait as a witness approaches the stand.

By Anna Bolton

adewine@aimmediamidwest.com

Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.

Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.