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Landers rape retrial begins


XENIA — The retrial for a Xenia man accused of raping a 10-year-old girl began Monday in Greene County Common Pleas Court. Joshua Landers, 27, is being tried on three counts of rape and one count of attempted rape.

After an all-female jury was seated and sworn in, the court heard opening statements from both the prosecution and the defense.

“Joshua Landers had sexual conduct with a 10-year-old child,” Greene County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Alice DeWine said, before describing the sexual contact in the case. DeWine also said Landers set out to establish a connection with the girl. “Ten-year-old [victim’s name] was vulnerable. She was an easy target for him.”

Landers’ defense attorney David Sams denied that the sexual conduct happened: “I believe the evidence will show this was not my client’s DNA,” he said.

“You’re going to hear an analyst from the state crime lab state that DNA found very near the presence of the girl in question, specifically on her underwear, is consistent with the profile of my client,” Sams added. “You’re also going to hear evidence that it is a very low profile, that this profile is consistent with many, many other people in this world.”

The court heard testimony from four witnesses Monday afternoon, including the victim in the case, who described three incidents of sexual contact with Landers in 2013.

Trial testimony was set to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. The case is being heard under the supervision of Judge Michael Buckwalter.

The case was originally heard in Greene County Common Pleas Court in September 2014, but jurors could not come to a unanimous verdict, which resulted in the new trial being heard this week.


By Nathan Pilling

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Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.