PI, Detective Testify At Trial

WAPAKONETA — During an interview with a private investigator, a St. Marys optometrist said he believed the case against him stemmed from mistaken identity.

Jurors in the rape trial of Douglas Wine, 52, viewed portions of an interview taped by Brad Kelly, a private investigator hired by Wine and his wife following allegations of unconsented sexual conduct with a 69-year-old woman in 2009. During the interview, Wine said he did not recall the incident but said if he did, he thought it was his wife.

“I remember going to lay with one of the kids and when I went to lay down, I thought I was laying down with (my wife),” Wine said in the recording. “I don’t really remember anything special about touching.”

In the recording, Wine repeatedly told Kelly he did not remember touching the alleged victim. Wine said he believed he was in bed with his wife. Wine also told Kelly he believed the woman had some animosity toward him and that she did not like him.

“I can certainly tell you with every confidence in the world that if I knew it was her, I wouldn’t have touched her,” Wine said.

Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney Ed Pierce called on Jerry Sawmiller, a detective sergeant with the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office, and he talked about his investigation into the matter. Sawmiller said he interviewed the woman on Dec. 15, 2010, and interviewed Wine on Dec. 23, 2010. Wine and his attorney were present during the interview.

On the recording, Wine told Sawmiller he remembered waking up in bed with the woman but could not recall which bedroom he was in. He admitted he was startled when he woke up.

“I got up, went to the bathroom and went back to bed in my bedroom,” Wine said on the recording.

Sawmiller asked Wine if he was aware if anyone else was in the room at the time of the incident. Wine said he did not remember if there was anyone else in the room at the time.

Sawmiller asked Wine if he could remember touching the woman. Wine again stressed that he could not recall ever touching her inappropriately.

“I hope somehow we find some answers,” Wine said on the recording.

During cross examination, Ritchey Hollenbaugh, Wine’s attorney, asked Sawmiller about the woman’s repeated trips to Ohio in the year from the incident to when she first reported it to investigators. Sawmiller said he did not ask the woman if she visited Ohio during that time period because he believed it was not applicable to the incident.

Sawmiller said the woman told him she made the trips because she did not want to damage her relationship with Wine’s children.

Hollenbaugh asked Sawmiller if he interviewed the child who was reportedly in the bed at the time of the incident and if that should have been done during the course of a thorough investigation. Sawmiller said Wine’s wife did not want him to interview the child.

Sawmiller was Pierce’s last witness, and he rested his case by mid-morning on Wednesday. Before presenting his case, Hollenbaugh filed a motion for acquittal based upon lack of evidence.

Hollenbaugh said the only evidence in the case was the testimony of the woman and that during cross examination, he believed it was rebutted. Pierce said if the court considered all testimony and exhibits, based upon the law, the motion should be denied.

Auglaize County Common Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple agreed and denied the motion for acquittal.