By Anna Bolton
XENIA — A former Wright State student was found not guilty Thursday on two charges of rape.
A jury deliberated for five hours before acquitting Myron Walker, 19. He was charged with two counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition after allegedly raping a fellow WSU student in a co-ed dorm early in the morning Nov. 8, 2015. The jury could not reach a decision on the third count, which means that case is still pending.
Over the course of the three-day trial, the court heard testimony from eight witnesses — all for the prosecution — including the victim.
Testimony revealed accounts of what allegedly happened around 2:20 a.m. the day of the alleged assault and the days following. WSU police officers and Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) forensic scientists were among the witnesses that took the stand.
The defense rested first thing Thursday morning and closing arguments followed.
“You heard [victim’s name] tell you she was pushed down on the bed … she couldn’t get up,” Assistant Prosecutor Nicole C. Burke said. “She tried to get up — she told him ‘no’ — she tried to push him away but she couldn’t because he was completely on top of her.”
Burke continued, saying that there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find Walker guilty of all three charges.
“His DNA is in her underwear because he sexually assaulted her,” Burke said. “There is no reason his DNA should be in her underwear, on her neck … ”
Defense attorney Carl Goraleski argued that the evidence — which showed DNA that matched Walker’s had been found on the victim’s underwear and on two swabs from the victim’s body — was not proof that rape had occurred.
“This evidence from BCI does not support the charge of rape. It supports the contact between these two people. If there’s contact between the two, there’s going to be DNA,” he said.
Goraleski, throughout his closing arguments, urged the jury to keep in mind “Reality disappears when emotions claim us.”
“I mentioned there was a ‘mis-take’,” he said. “I still think that’s an appropriate way to look at the situation.”
Burke responded, arguing that the alleged events were not consensual.
“This is not a ‘mis-take’ case, this is a ‘take’ case — he took something that didn’t belong to him,” she said.
Burke continued: “An ‘Oh, I had sex and now I regret it’ scenario? That is not this case … you would not … relive it over and over and over again. You would not endure a rape exam if you are regretful of consensual sex.”
Goraleski added that the victim had noted in her initial written statement that she was intoxicated during the alleged assault. Burke responded that from the victim’s testimony, the victim had had three to four beers over the course of several hours. Intoxication, Burke said, is not an excuse for an offense.
Goraleski and Burke disputed another portion of the alleged event.
During previous testimony, the victim said that at the end of the alleged assault she had gotten up, pushed the alleged assailant onto the bed and covered him with a blanket before leaving the room.
“That act is inconsistent with an individual who has been savagely attacked,” Goraleski said.
Burke responded that the blanket acted as a buffer between the two as the victim tried to escape.
“When you’re being sexually assaulted, one — you’re trying to survive. Two — you’re trying to get out of there,” she said.
After the verdict was read, Walker’s parents — in tears — approached his chair and hugged him.
Goraleski said he was relieved with the outcome of the trial.
“I think cases of this type are fraught with emotion and I appreciate the citizens of Greene County having an open mind and examining the evidence to make what I believe is the right decision,” he said.
Reach Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.