ATHENS — The case against a Gallipolis man alleged to have raped an Ohio University student last year will proceed to trial despite the defendant’s appearance earlier this week for a change of plea hearing before Athens County Common Pleas Judge Alan Goldsberry.
Levi D. Canterbury, 22, had originally been scheduled to appear on Tuesday in the Common Pleas Court of Athens County for a jury trial. However, the court was later informed that a plea agreement had been reached in this case, and a jury was not seated on Tuesday morning due to the proposed plea change hearing.
According to an official with Judge Goldsberry’s office, however, Canterbury did not enter a plea on Tuesday morning, and a new trial date will be set.
Ohio University police obtained a warrant for Canterbury’s arrest last year following the report of an alleged rape that occurred on September 15, 2011.
The defendant is alleged to have picked up a female Ohio University student, driven her to a parking lot and raped her in his car.
As previously reported, Canterbury is not an Ohio University student, and was later arrested in El Paso, Texas, where he was deployed with his National Guard unit.
The arrest came after an intensive investigation led by Ohio University police with the assistance from the Athens Police Department, Gallipolis police and fire departments, the office of Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation in London, Ohio.
Shortly after the warrant was issued, Canterbury was located and taken into custody with the assistance of the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the El Paso Sheriff’s Office and the Criminal Investigation Department at Fort Bliss, Texas.
His bond was later set at $200,000, and he was extradited to Athens County, Ohio, where he was booked into the Southeastern Regional Jail in Nelsonville on October 11, 2011.
An indictment was filed with the Athens County Common Pleas Court in mid-October 2011 and Canterbury was arraigned on October 19, 2011, and charged with two counts of rape.
He pleaded not guilty and his bond was continued at $200,000.
The jury trial in this case was later continued from September 25 to December 11-21, 2012, according to the court’s online docket, and a change of plea hearing was later scheduled for December 11.
According to the court official, a date for a new trial in this case has yet to be determined, but is expected to be scheduled in early 2013.
Canterbury is being represented in this case by Gallipolis attorney William Eachus.
The defendant is currently being held in the Southeastern Regional Jail awaiting his next court appearance.