ELYRIA — A jury cleared an Oberlin man Friday of a rape charge that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life.
Lewis Wade, 20, had been accused of molesting a 1-year-old girl, whose family he knew. Wade had been alone with the child before the molestation, which Lorain police said caused slight injuries to the girl. The family reported that they learned how the injuries were caused after taking her to the hospital.
Wade testified during the trial that he didn’t molest the girl.
The jury deliberated around four hours Friday before reaching its verdict. The trial began Monday before Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge.
Mike Kinlin, Wade’s attorney, said he was pleased by the verdict.
“I believe the jury made the right decision,” he said. “The evidence just wasn’t there.”
Kinlin also said that a key problem in the case was a DNA sample that wasn’t tested by police.
County Prosecutor Dennis Will didn’t return a call seeking comment Friday.
The verdict doesn’t end Wade’s legal problems — he is still facing charges of assault, obstructing official business and resisting arrest for allegedly loosing two dogs on Oberlin police in June.
According to police, Officer Mark Ellis confronted Wade on South Park Street about a loose large brown dog he was throwing a ball for.
Wade refused to give his identification to Ellis and then walked back to his nearby home.
When Ellis followed him there, Wade opened the door and let out two dogs. As Ellis backed up, Wade allegedly yelled “Get off my (expletive) property or these dogs are gonna (expletive) you up.”
One of the dogs bit Ellis on the wrist as he drew his Taser. The officer kept backing away while drawing his gun, police reported. Ellis fired two shots at the dogs, striking the one who bit him. The dogs then fled.
Ellis then picked up his Taser and told Wade he was under arrest, but Wade continued to resist, but his mother came out and told him to listen to Ellis, according to police. Wade surrendered when additional officers arrived.
Wade has pleaded not guilty to the charges in that case.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.