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Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Coldwater man found guilty of raping child

By Ed Gebert
CELINA - David Ray Leugers, 36, was found guilty on Tuesday of two first-degree felony counts of rape of a person under age 13, including specifications that he used force or the threat of force to commit the crimes.
Judge Jeffrey Ingraham read the verdict in Mercer County Common Pleas Court. Leugers, a Coldwater resident, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison on each charge.
Leugers sat for a two-day trial on April 24-25. He had waived a jury trial to have his case heard by Ingraham. Evidence was presented during the trial, after which, Ingraham instructed the attorneys to submit closing arguments in writing. Each attorney was also given a week to respond in writing to the other's closing argument before Ingraham reached his decision.
During the trial, the prosecution called 10 witnesses, including law enforcement, medical workers, family members of the victim and the victim herself, who was 10 years old at the time of the incident. The defense called five witnesses, including family members and friends of Leugers, and the defendant himself.
The prosecution ar-gued that Leugers had committed the offense in a bedroom at his apartment in Coldwater while the defense claimed that he had been sleeping with his girlfriend in a nearby bedroom. The girlfriend supported that claim.
"The court has considered the testimony of the victim to be credible. The court had previously found her to be competent, prior to her testimony," Ingraham said on Tuesday while reading his decision. "She did not alter her testimony or give any indication that what she gave to the court was anything but the truth."
As for Leugers' claims, Ingraham did not agree with the defense's conclusions.
"The defendant argues that the state failed to provide any corroborating evidence. The court finds to the contrary; the medical professionals from Dayton Children's Hospital provided such evidence," Ingraham said.
Ingraham also said the specification that Leugers had used force or the threat of force was certainly proven because Leugers far outweighed the victim, and he used the weight of his body to force the victim.
Ingraham ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for 3 p.m. June 4.
Leugers had been charged with four counts of rape, all first-degree felonies, but before the trial had begun, Mercer County Prosecutor Matthew Fox agreed to dismiss the two counts that did not carry the stipulation that Leugers had used force or the threat of force.
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