Prosecutor Files Response

ST. MARYS — The prosecuting attorney for Auglaize County asked judges from the Third District Court of Appeals to reject a motion seeking an order of acquittal in the case involving Douglas Wine.

On Monday, Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney Ed Pierce filed his response to Lorin Zaner’s motion seeking an order of acquittal for Wine. Last month, appeals court judges reduced Wine’s conviction of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony, to a third-degree misdemeanor of sexual imposition and ordered the matter remanded to Auglaize County Common Pleas Court. The judges ruled the state failed to provide sufficient evidence Wine compelled the victim to submit to the sexual contact by force or threat of force — which is required under the Ohio Revised Code regarding gross sexual imposition.

In a motion filed earlier this month, Zaner asked the judges to reconsider their decision and made four assignments of error. It was in the filing that Zaner sought to have the judges order an acquittal in the case. Among the assignments was an argument Zaner made that noted while sexual imposition is a lesser offense of gross sexual imposition, he believed it is not a lesser offense of rape.

Wine was initially indicted on rape. During  a jury trial, he was found not guilty of rape and the lesser offense of sexual battery. However, he was found guilty of gross sexual imposition.

“This court’s remand to the trial court on the charge of sexual imposition as a lesser offense of gross sexual imposition, after conviction and reversal, is proper, especially in light of the appellant’s concession that sexual imposition is a lesser included offense of gross sexual imposition,” Pierce wrote in his motion.

With Pierce’s response, the matter is now under consideration by appeals court judges. A date for Wine in Auglaize County Common Pleas for sentencing on the misdemeanor charges has yet to be scheduled. A third-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail. However, Wine previously served time in prison on the fourth-degree felony. Earlier this year, appeals court judges allowed Wine out on bond while his case made its way through the appeals process.