Wine Sentenced To 15 Months In Prison

WAPAKONETA — A St. Marys optometrist was sentenced to more than a year in prison after being convicted in October of a felony sex crime.

Auglaize County Common Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple sentenced Douglas J. Wine to 15 months in prison on one count of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony, during a hearing Wednesday afternoon. Wine was convicted of the charge in October after a jury trial. Jurors found Wine not guilty of sexual battery and rape, a first-degree felony, regarding an incident that involved a Florida woman at his St. Marys home in 2009.

“The defendant has presented for sentencing no remorse,” Pepple said before handing down his sentence. “The statements presented at trial, to the video tape and deposition, present two different men.”

Pepple also questioned Wine’s responses in his presentence investigation.

“I do not think this offense occurred,” Pepple read from the presentence investigation. “Your statement on the video indicated you thought the event had occurred, or likely had occurred or probably occurred.”

Pepple also ordered Wine to serve five years post-release control upon his release and advised him he is 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.

Lorin Zaner, Wine’s co-counsel, argued in favor of his client receiving no prison term. Zaner said Wine posed no risk to the community and continued to maintain his innocence throughout the proceedings.

“The court is well aware the defendant has plead not guilty and decided to go to trial and even though he was found guilty of a lesser offense than what he was charged with, as the court is aware, he still claims his innocence, he’s obviously going to be filing a notice of appeal and those would be issues for another day,” Zaner said. “The fact that he is maintaining his innocence, we hope the court would not look at that like as a negative and that’s something the court of appeals can decide once all of this information is presented to them.”

Zaner said Wine recently received notification the state board of optometry planned to start the process to revoke his medical license, which he said Wine planned to contest.

He also noted Wine continued to practice up until his sentencing hearing.

If a prison term was deemed necessary, Zaner asked Pepple to stay the sentence until the completion of Wine’s second criminal case or allow him to post an appellate bond. Pepple later denied the request for an appellate bond.

“My client has no criminal record and he has done an awful lot for this community,” Zaner said. “He’s done a lot for a lot of people.”

Pepple also gave Wine a chance to address him before handing down the sentence.

“I would just ask for mercy,” Wine said.

Auglaize County Prosecuting Attorney Ed Pierce asked Pepple to impose a sentence of 18 months in prison — the maximum allowed under the Ohio Revised Code. Pierce said the sentence was warranted based upon the outcome of the trial and the information contained within the presentence investigation and victim impact statement.

“The court should come to the conclusion that a prison sentence is appropriate in this case,” Pierce said.

Wine also is scheduled to stand trial on two counts each of rape, first-degree felonies, gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies, and sexual battery, third-degree felonies, starting Feb. 6 in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court. According to online court documents, seven days have been set aside for the trial.

Wine is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in the matter at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 13. Online court documents list the rape charges as alleged violations of Ohio Revised Code 2907.02A1BB, which involve a person under the age of 13. 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.