GALLIPOLIS — Following a mistrial that was declared last year in a 2011 felony case, a second jury trial is being held this week in Gallia County Common Pleas Court in a case against a man accused of raping a small girl.
Anthony Owens, 33, of Gallipolis, appeared Monday before a jury of his peers to answer the charges of gross sexual imposition and two counts of rape.
Owens was initially indicted in May 2011, and the indictment, signed by a special prosecuting attorney with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, outlines three charges for offenses occurring between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2009.
According to the indictment, Owens allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with the victim, identified only as “Jane Doe,” whose date of birth is listed as 2001, on two separate occasions, both first-degree felonies. In addition, Owens reportedly forced “Jane Doe” to touch his erogenous zone, a third-degree felony. The indictment further specifies that the victim was less than 10 years of age at the time of the alleged offenses.
Following his arraignment hearing in June 2011, Owens was later released on a $50,000, own recognizance bond and was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim in this case.
Owens subsequently filed a waiver of his speedy trial limits, and, following months of litigation and several continuations, this case came before the court for a jury trial on Nov. 20-21, 2013.
During this first trial, Owens appeared with his retained counselors, Jeffery L. Finley and William N. Eachus. Special prosecuting attorneys Marianne Hemmeter and Amanda Bunner represented the State of Ohio.
According to a journal entry filed following this trial and signed by presiding Judge Michael Ward — Judge D. Dean Evans recused himself from the case — on the date of trial, a jury was selected and empaneled and “during the presentation of the state’s evidence, it became apparent that the defense attorney’s continued representation of the defendant presented a conflict of interest. Therefore, the state of Ohio, by counsel, and the defendant, personally and by counsel, jointed moved for mistrial. The Court declared a mistrial with respect to all counts of the indictment.”
Following the filing of this judgment entry, the speedy trial time limits resumed and a journal entry was not filed in this case until early this year, when the court ordered that this matter be scheduled for a final pre-trial conference on June 16 and a jury trial be scheduled on Monday, June 23.
According to information filed with the Gallia County Clerk of Courts Office, Owens is now being represented by attorneys William N. Eachus and Charles H. Knight.
This trial is expected to continue through Thursday in the common pleas courtroom.
Further information will be released as it is made available.