ST. MARYS — The second criminal case against a St. Marys optometrist was dismissed on Wednesday.
Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney Ed Pierce filed a motion to dismiss the second criminal case against Douglas J. Wine, who was charged with two counts each of rape, first-degree felonies, gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies, and sexual battery, third-degree felonies. Wine was scheduled to stand trial on the charges starting Feb. 7 and was scheduled for a final pretrial at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
In a statement issued to The Evening Leader, Pierce said the decision to dismiss the case, without prejudice, was based upon his determination that a conviction was unlikely based upon the evidence as it existed and the burden of proof necessary to sustain one.
“This dismissal is without prejudice, meaning charges or other charges could be brought again if an indictment is returned by a future grand jury,” the statement read.
Lorin Zaner, Wine’s co-counsel, praised the decision
“I am very pleased Mr. Pierce took a hard look at the potential evidence and what it would take to pursue this case,” Zaner told The Evening Leader. “He absolutely did the right thing as opposed to just letting the dice roll. I am very pleased — not many prosecutors take the attitude he did and how he handled it.”
If convicted on the charges, which alleged to have involved a person under the age of 13, Wine faced life in prison.
According to online court documents, Wine also filed a notice of appeal on Monday and filed a motion for release on bail or the suspension of his sentence pending the appeal on Tuesday. In December, Wine was sentenced to 15 months in prison on one count of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony. The sentence was imposed after jurors found Wine guilty of the crime during an October trial. Jurors found him not guilty of rape, a first-degree felony, and sexual battery.
During Wine’s sentencing hearing, Zaner asked Auglaize County Common Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple to stay the sentence until the completion of Wine’s second criminal case or allow him to post an appellate bond. Pepple denied the request for an appellate bond.
Wine faced a maximum of 18 months in prison on the charge. He also was classified as a tier I sexual offender. Given that status, Wine must register his address with the local sheriff’s office annually for 15 years upon his release from prison.