XENIA — The woman who claims she was raped in a Yellow Springs home in April 2018 testified to a jury Sept. 24.
The now-22-year old pointed to Jacob Pflanzer, 29, sitting behind the defense table. She said he was the man who allegedly assaulted her.
Pflanzer is being tried in Greene County Common Pleas Court on four counts of rape, a first-degree felony, and one count of gross sexual imposition. He posted bond early in the case.
Attorneys opened the trial on Monday, agreeing that sexual conduct occurred between the two adults — with the defense saying it was consensual and the prosecution alleging that it was not.
When Assistant Prosecutor Cheri Stout started asking the victim about the incident, the woman started crying.
“I was really scared. I didn’t know what to do,” she said on the stand. “I was having a panic attack … It felt like — I can’t breathe, I’m frozen, I can’t say anything.”
The alleged victim said Pflanzer held her wrists down, hit her in the face, strangled, bit and scratched her during the assault.
“I was definitely yelling how it hurt,” she said.
Defense Attorney Adam Arnold questioned her reasons for accepting the invitation to Pflanzer’s house.
“You drove from Kettering, Ohio to Yellow Springs at 3 in the morning to meet with someone you had only met a handful of times before?” he asked her.
“I did. I thought he was my friend,” she replied, also noting that she assumed his girlfriend would be there, too.
Arnold pointed out the size difference between the two individuals.
“You are 6 foot 4. He is 5 foot 7 … How is he holding your arms and your legs and … restraining [you] … How is that possible?”
Arnold also questioned the victim in other areas — including pointing out a time he said she lied in an interview and on the controlled call.
Stout played a recording of the controlled call between the victim and the defendant.
“What happened the other night put me in the hospital,” said a voice identified as the victim. “I didn’t want to do it and I don’t know if you noticed or not but I was definitely crying.”
“I didn’t notice. I apologize,” the voice identified as the defendant said. “If there’s anything I can do, let me know. I apologize.”
He continued by stating that he wasn’t aware of her reaction and that the incident hadn’t been his intention.
In a recorded Yellow Springs Police Department interview with Sgt. Naomi Watson, Pflanzer says, “She didn’t say no.”
“Is she crying?” Watson asks.
“No,” he responds.
“She never pushed you away?” she asks.
“Never,” he replies.
In the interview, Pflanzer admitted that he had been drinking and doing cocaine that day. The victim’s testimony revealed she had smoked marijuana that day and done cocaine a week or two prior.
Arnold criticized Watson on her investigation — asking why she didn’t try to recover the initial Facebook messages between the two when she had Pflanzer’s phone for another incident and why she didn’t interview the man allegedly passed out on the couch at the home that night — while noting discrepancies among interviews.
“In the SANE [Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners] nurse interview, she [victim] indicates that she clearly said ‘no’ and to stop. And in your interview she [victim] indicates that she told him ‘no’ and to stop but that her voice is slightly hoarse so he may not have heard her, correct?” Arnold asked.
Closing the day, forensic scientists from Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) took the stand.
They testified that three of the swabbed areas from the victim included Pflanzer’s DNA while the fourth sample — which included additional male DNA and tested positive for the enzyme found in semen and other bodily fluids — did not have enough DNA to determine the contributor.
The state rested its case. The defense has called witnesses to the courthouse to begin 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25.