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Grand jury to hear attempted rape case

Published 9:03am Wednesday, February 6, 2013

An alleged attempted rape case involving at least one member of the Ironton City Council will be heard at a special grand jury session Friday, more than seven months after the incident was first reported.

Four subpoenas have been served by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, according to Sheriff Jeff Lawless. These include the alleged victim, the suspect and two other individuals.

An attorney from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation & Identification will present the case to the special grand jury called by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The case was originally set to be heard last month, but the attorney general’s office rescheduled the matter for Friday.

The hearing comes nearly seven months after an Ironton woman went to Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Russell, Ky., and alleged a member of city council tried to rape her the night before.

“(The hospital employee) stated (the woman) had told her that (the man) had tried to rape her at her home last night and she had to fight him off,” according to the narrative on the 911 call log.

Since the allegations were made, local authorities have steered clear of the case, citing a conflict of interest. Given the nature of the allegation and that it involves members of city government, the Ironton Police turned the matter over to BCI&I.

The county prosecutor’s office also said it would not handle the case since that office also serves as the attorney for the city of Ironton.

At this time, no charges have been filed in the case. The Tribune does not generally identify rape victims or individuals accused of crimes until formal charges are filed.

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