WOOSTER — One week after a jury convicted Kevin Jamison of raping a Wooster woman he met online, a second jury found the 42-year-old Canton man not guilty of sexually assaulting another woman around the same time.
Jamison remains in custody after Wayne County Common Pleas Judge Corey E. Spitler revoked his bond and ordered a pre-sentence investigation in the case tried last week. In that case, Jamison was convicted on one count each of rape, a first-degree felony, and sexual battery, a third-degree felony. He faced those same charges in the trial this week.
Attorneys presented evidence and arguments in Jamison’s second trial on Monday before presenting closing statements Tuesday morning. The jury then returned its not guilty verdict after about 30 minutes of deliberations.
During the trial on Monday, prosecutors said Jamison controlled and manipulated a 39-year-old Shreve woman to have sex with him against her will, while Jamison’s defense attorney, Akron-based lawyer Eddie Sipplen, said all of the sexual activity between them was consensual.
The woman, who testified Monday, said she met Jamison last spring on the dating website Plenty of Fish, where he used the name Jason. The two went on several dates, she said, and had consensual sex on their first date. On their second date, the woman picked up Jamison in Wooster before she realized she forgot her purse at home. She then drove both of them back to her house in Shreve, were they began having consensual sex before the woman decided she wanted to stop.
“I told him no. That’s when he pushed me down on my stomach,” the woman said. ”.. I told him no, and then he told me not to say a word and just be quiet. And I did. I just laid there and cried the whole time. ... (I was) scared, shocked.”
After that, Jamison told the woman to take a shower, she said in her testimony, which is part of why she never reported the incident to police.
“I was ashamed, scared. He had washed my entire body, so there wasn’t any evidence,” she said. “I let him in my house. I really didn’t know what I could do.”
Jamison also testified Monday, despite his attorney’s advice that he remain silent, and said that all of the sexual activity between him and the woman was consensual.
“There was no indication that anything went wrong,” Jamison said. He also said that he never threatened the woman or told her to be quiet during sex.
And ultimately, Sipplen said in his closing argument, the lack of the physical evidence in the case left reasonable doubt that Jamison assaulted the woman.
“What we have is a he said, she said situation,” Sipplen told the jury. “And in a situation like this, when it’s he said, she said, I would respectfully submit to you that the prosecutor has not met its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Kevin Jamison committed the crime of rape, that Kevin Jamison committed the crime of sexual battery. The evidence that was presented does not support that.”
That made this case more difficult to prosecute, county Prosecutor Dan Lutz said after the trial.
“This was, I think, a little bit tougher of a case to prove than the last one, because it was basically one word against the other,” Lutz said.
Sipplen added that both of Jamison’s trials were difficult because they involved allegations of date rape.
“At the the end of the day, both sides fought hard, and he had a fair trial,” Sipplen said. "... Both cases were tough, especially when you’re dealing with a date rape-type situation. It’s not a stranger-type situation, so it could have gone either way.”
Wooster police learned of the Shreve woman’s allegations against Jamison while investigating the case of the a 37-year-old Wooster woman who Jamison raped after also meeting her on Plenty of Fish last spring. With that woman, Jamison used the name Calvin on the dating site. Initially, police were not able to identify a suspect, but believed both women were describing the same man, Assistant Chief Scott Rotolo said.
Police eventually identified Jamison, who was living in Wooster with his fiance at the time, as the suspect. Both women identified Jamison in a photo array, and investigators found a trace amount of Jamison’s DNA was present on the underwear the Wooster woman was wearing at the time Jamison raped her.
Jamison’s sentencing hearing for his convictions from last week’s trial has not yet been scheduled.
Reporter Jack Rooney can be reached at 330-287-1645 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is on Twitter at twitter.com/RooneyReports.