Wine Case Heading To High Court

ST. MARYS — Ohio's High Court has accepted the appeal of Douglas Wine.

In a ruling late Wednesday morning, the Ohio Supreme Court agreed to hold a hearing in Wine's case. In September, Wine's attorney, Lorin Zaner, filed a motion requesting justices from the Ohio Supreme Court take up his case on appeal from the Third District Court of Appeals in Lima. Early last year, appeals court judges in Lima reduced Wine's conviction of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony, to a third-degree misdemeanor of sexual imposition.

In his filing to the Ohio Supreme Court seeking a hearing, Zaner made four arguments including the court of appeals abused its discretion and violated Wine's right to be tried by a jury of his peers when it reversed a criminal conviction to a lesser-included a offense that was not considered by a jury, and that sexual imposition is not a lesser-inlcuded offense of rape, and as such, Wine cannot be convicted on the charge if he was tried on the rape charge. Zaner also called into question the use of lesser-included offenses, labeling the practice as "daisy-chaining" charges.

Wine was initially indicted on rape. During a 2011 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. The jury received instructions before beginning their deliberations that they could consider the lesser-included offenses.

A hearing date has yet to be scheduled.