XENIA — A Xenia man was found guilty March 30 of a pair of sex crimes with a 7-year-old girl.
Andre T. Estes, 37, is facing a minimum of 15 years on one count of rape, a first-degree felony, and a minimum of 10 years on one count of attempted rape, a second-degree felony, according to court documents. The jury announced its verdict in Judge Michael Buckwalter’s courtroom after several hours of deliberating. A count of sexual battery was dismissed March 30.
“These guilty verdicts were the result of a collaborative effort of the office of the Prosecuting Attorney Stephen K. Haller, the Xenia Police Division, Michael’s House Child Advocacy Center and most importantly a very brave victim … ” Assistant Prosecutor Alice DeWine said via text message. “We are very pleased that justice has been served today.”
Estes was on trial for five days for the crimes, which took place in Xenia sometime between Dec. 1, 2015 and June 25, 2016, according to the amended grand jury indictment. The victim, who is now 8-years-old, is known to Estes.
“We are obviously disappointed in the verdict,” defense attorney Michael P. Brush said. “After speaking to the jury at the end of the case, it appears they did not come to a decision easily.”
Brush said they do plan to appeal as there were “some pre-trial rulings that we believe deserve a second look.”
A sentencing date has not yet been set.
During closing arguments, Assistant Prosecutor David Hayes said most of the elements of the alleged crimes were easily proven. The only one the jury had to really consider was whether the alleged sex acts or attempted sex acts actually took place.
“If (you) believe her, he is guilty. That’s it,” Hayes told the jury.
He also implored the jury to not hold the testimony of the alleged victim to adult standards.
“It’s a 7-year-old trying to explain what’s happening,” Hayes said.
Brush told the jury other than DNA on a “Hello Kitty” rug, there was no “physical, objective” evidence that Estes sexually assaulted the girl. Brush said DNA belonging to Estes appeared on the rug because Estes and the girl’s mother had intercourse in that bedroom. He also said the alleged victim’s mother “made up, concocted, told, however you want to call it, coached her 7-year-old daughter.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.
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