WAPAKONETA — After almost 13 hours of deliberations spread across two days, a jury in the rape trial of a St. Marys optometrist issued a verdict.
The jury of six men and six women found Douglas Wine, 52, guilty of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony, and not guilty of sexual battery and rape, a first-degree felony.
While Wine was indicted on the rape charge, Auglaize County Common Pleas Court Judge Frederick Pepple instructed jurors they could consider the gross sexual imposition and sexual battery charges as lesser included offenses.
Pepple continued Wine’s bond and ordered him to hand over his passport.
Pepple also ordered a pre-sentence investigation and victim impact statement be delivered to the court before sentencing.
Before his sentencing hearing, Wine also will be subject to a sex offender status hearing.
“It was a very long 15 hours that we have all waited, and we were confident that it would be a not guilty verdict,” said Ritchey Hollenbaugh, Wine’s defense
attorney. “The family is not at all ready to be making comments at this point. It’s an extremely difficult time for a very close family.”
Hollenbaugh said he would make a decision on a possible appeal following the sentencing hearing, which could take place in four to six weeks.
Wine faces a maximum of 18 months in prison. Under the Ohio Revised Code, he could be labeled a tier I sexual offender, meaning he would have to annually register his address with the local sheriff’s
If convicted on the rape charge, Wine faced a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney Ed Pierce said he was pleased with the outcome.
“I’m not disappointed at all, I’m satisfied with the verdict,” Pierce said.
“It is a felony-level offense. I believe that what the verdict indicates is that they believed everything (the victim) testified to, the only thing they apparently struggled with was the difference between sexual conduct and sexual contact.”
Pierce also said the deliberations were among the longest he could remember.
“I’ve had some long deliberations but I cannot remember one that has exceeded 13 hours since I’ve been with the office,” Pierce said.
“You sit and wait. I learned a long time ago it doesn’t do any good to try and guess and try to analyze because you just don’t know.”
Wine also has a pending case that includes two counts each of rape, first-degree felonies, gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies, and sexual battery, third-degree felonies.
Online court documents list the rape charges as alleged violations of Ohio Revised Code 2907.02A1BB.
Under that code, Wine could face life in prison if convicted.
The code also includes a provision that anyone convicted of the offense would be labeled a tier III sexual offender/child victim offender. Online court documents also indicate the alleged offenses date back to Sept. 1, 2003.
No further hearings have been scheduled in that matter. Wine has pleaded innocent to the charges.