EATON — A Lakengren man convicted of gross sexual impostion in August appeared in Preble County Common Pleas Court Wednesday asking for a new trial.
Eric Kaye, 56, initially faced charges related to three alleged incidents of abuse toward an underage female family member. The family member in question is disabled and requires round-the-clock care.
Video clips of the incidents, which were recorded by cameras installed by the defendant with his wife’s knowledge, were shown to the jury during the trial. Defense council Kyle Lennen challenged the admission of the videos at that time, claiming they simply depicted the defendant providing routine care to the victim.
“There’s no evidence or even inkling of anything sexual in these videos,” Lennen told the court during the trial. “We have nothing here to validate these charges.”
Judge Stephen R. Bruns dismissed one count at that time but allowed the remaining two to go forward, though he admitted it was “a real close call” before ruling. Kaye was ultimately convicted on one of the remaining two counts.
Kaye appeared Wednesday, Sept 18 to ask the court for a new trial. Kaye’s attorney again took issue with the video evidence.
“I believe what’s shown in those videos is that Eric was moving the alleged victim up in her bed,” Lennen said. “Any other testimony, as well as the jury’s verdict, is all other people’s interpretations of the video.”
Preble County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney H. Michele Thomas disagreed, saying that the state had “the greatest opposition possible” to the defendant being granted a new trial.
“As a society, and as a legal system, we hold jury verdicts to be sacrosanct,” Thomas said. Though the defendant claimed he was simply moving the alleged victim up in the bed, according to Thomas, both a nurse and the victim’s mother testified to refute this.
Judge Bruns indicated the decision facing him was a difficult one.
“I have different factors pulling me different ways,” Bruns said. The defendant is scheduled to appear for a sentencing hearing Oct 23. Bruns will likely announce his decision before that date.
Also appearing in court this week:
Gary R. Eaton, 33, was sentenced on charges of attempted grand theft of a motor vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon. Eaton was sentenced to three years of community control and 180 days incarceration at a community-based correctional facility, minus 62 days credit for time already served.
Rebekah J. Meeks, 38, of West Alexandria, was sentenced on charges of tampering with evidence. Meeks was sentenced to four years of community control. She must also enroll in a substance abuse treatment program, a parenting class, and complete 100 hours of community service. A reserved sentence of 36 months incarceration could be imposed if Meeks fails to complete the terms of her probation.
Tonya Nichole Malinovsky, 45, of West Manchester, was sentenced on charges of aggravated possession of drugs. Judge Bruns sentenced the defendant to community control; she must enroll in a substance abuse treatment program and complete 100 hours of community service in addition to complying with the terms of her probation.