Attorney: Suspect in city council rape case passed lie detector

Published 11:44 am Thursday, July 26, 2012


The attorney representing an Ironton City Council member accused of rape said his client passed a polygraph test Monday that proves the man’s innocence.

Meanwhile, the legal counsel for the alleged victim said the lie detector test proves nothing and contends there is clear physical evidence that supports his client’s account of the incident.

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No charges have been filed in the case that has been under investigation for more than a month. The Tribune does not generally identify rape victims or individuals accused of crimes until formal charges are filed.

Attorney Jeremy Dodgion, of Columbus, said the polygraph test was administered at his request and he received the written results from it Tuesday. Although lie detectors are not generally admissible as evidence in criminal trials, Dodgion said it might carry some weight in the investigation, which is ongoing.

“In our view it does,” Dodgion said. “It adds to the credibility of my client and his position on this.”

A woman told authorities a member of city council had tried to rape her at her home June 16 and that she had fought him off.

Given the nature of the allegation and that it involves a member of city government, the Ironton Police turned the matter over to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Identification.

BCI&I officials have declined to comment about the case. The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office has said the results of the investigation will be sent to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to avoid any perception of conflict.

Attorney Warren Morford, who represents the alleged victim, said he puts little faith in a polygraph test administered on behalf of the suspect’s attorney.

“Every attorney has a polygraph examiner (they use),” Morford said. “I have one. I don’t care what the polygraph says. There is plenty of physical evidence that points to his guilt.”

Morford said he has not been happy with the way the investigation has been handled in many aspects and wondered what the results are on tests conducted on physical evidence in the case. The attorney said he intends to discuss his concerns with BCI&I investigators.

“I find it rather strange the way the whole investigation has progressed from Day One,” Morford said.

According to the Lawrence County 911 log, the woman went to Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Russell, Ky., where a hospital employee called 911 on her behalf.

“(The 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.