Trial of Xenia man accused of rape begins

By Scott Halasz -

XENIA — The first two witnesses in the jury trial of a Xenia man accused of sex crimes against a minor took the stand in common pleas court March 27.

Andre T. Estes, 37, was charged with one count each of attempted rape, rape and sexual battery in 2016 of a girl who was 7-years-old at the time.

The alleged victim and her mother testified after opening arguments were made by attorneys inside Judge Michael Buckwalter’s courtroom.

The girl, who will be nine-years-old next month, told the Assistant Prosecutor Alice DeWine and the jury of multiple incidents where Estes allegedly committed one sex act on the girl in her bedroom and attempted another.

“{Estes} did something bad to me,” she said, adding that Estes told her not to tell anybody.

“He said it was a secret,” the girl said.

She later said she was taken to the hospital where she had a “checkup.”

During cross-examination, the girl said she couldn’t remember which of the alleged acts happened first nor what she or Estes were wearing, all questions asked by defense attorney Michael P. Brush.

When asked how one of the alleged incidents initiated, the girl said she couldn’t remember if Estes told her to disrobe or if she just did. She also said she was unsure if she removed clothes before or after getting on her bed. The also said she couldn’t remember other details Brush asked her about.

The girl’s mother — who is not being named to protect the identity off the alleged victim — said she first became suspicious of something when she noticed her daughter was looking at pornographic videos on her cell phone.

“I was surprised,” she said. “Nobody should be looking at that on my phone.”

The mother asked who showed her how to find porn on the phone and the girl said another student on the school bus.

The woman also asked her daughter if she had done any of the actions depicted in the video or if anyone had done that to her.

“She hesitated,” the girl’s mother said. “She looked afraid to tell me. I could tell she knew something.”

The girl’s mother said her daughter eventually answered the question of who did the alleged acts to her.

“She said {Estes},” the mother said.

The mother testified that she didn’t immediately call the police because she was afraid that Estes would get mad and physically harm them.

“I was horrified,” the girls’ mother said. “I was afraid.”

The mother eventually called the police and then took her daughter to the hospital to be examined. She also said she voluntarily gave her phone to police so data could be extracted.

During questioning by Brush, the mother said she herself had never looked at porn on her phone and nobody else in her house would have either. Brush asked the woman if she would be surprised to find out that before the alleged incident happened that there was porn on the phone.

She said yes and that would change her mind as to if someone else was viewing porn.

During opening statements, Assistant Prosecutor David Hayes said the evidence will show the case is “betrayal that is almost unimaginable,” while Brush said stories like what Hayes told them often include embellishment, theatrics and improvisation. He said there is no objective evidence that Estes committed any of the crimes.

The trial continues 8:30 a.m. March 27.

The rape charge is a first-degree felony, while the sexual battery and attempted rape counts are second-degree felonies. According to court documents, the count of rape comes with a minimum of 15 years, while the sexual battery charge carries mandatory imprisonment without a specified term. The alleged rape charge carries mandatory indefinite imprisonment of a minimum of 10 years.

By Scott Halasz

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.