April 23, 2014

Medina
Mostly clear
41°F

Montville Twp. man accused of sex with minor is on trial

MEDINA — The fate of a Montville Township man relies largely on whether the jury believes the testimony of teenagers who say he sexually molested them.

Patrick J. Shank, 45, of 5170 Chippewa Road, pleaded not guilty in July to two third-degree felony charges of sexual battery and unlawful sexual contact with a minor, as well as two first-degree misdemeanor charges of contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor.

Patrick Shank

Prosecutors accuse Shank of forcing a 17-year-old York Township girl to have sex with him in his home four times between 2008 and 2010.

On the witness stand Tuesday, the girl testified that during some of the encounters, she was drunk with alcohol he provided. Prior to their first encounter, she said he exposed himself to her and asked her inappropriate, sexual questions.

Defense attorney Kenneth Lewis told the jury in his opening statements not to believe the girl’s testimony.

“Let me be clear,” Lewis said. “These events, these encounters that the prosecution describes, did not happen.”

During jury selection, Lewis asked potential jurors whether they believe teenagers could lie about something as serious as sexual assault.

The prosecution is offering no medical or physical evidence against Shank.

County Assistant Prosecutor Scott Salisbury asked them whether they would be able to find a man guilty beyond a reasonable doubt without medical evidence.

The only evidence besides witness testimony are photographs of Shank involved in playing drinking games with minors or underage adults.

In her testimony Tuesday, the girl said that Shank threw at least 10 parties between 2008 and 2011 for minors, adults younger than age 21 and Shank’s friends. Sometimes, as many as 20 people attended, she said.

During at least one party, the girl said Shank showed the teens a pistol he kept in the house.

“He was a cool parent,” she said. “He was acting like a teenager.”

Shank is married and has four children 11 to 20 years old. He is the lead singer in a heavy metal band.

At the trial, Shank visibly was upset at the girl’s testimony, shaking his head but remaining silent.

Lewis asked the girl why she would continue to visit Shank’s home if these things were happening.

She said she was close friends with one of Shank’s sons, and that she did not want to lose her “only real friend.”

Under cross examination, Lewis focused many of his questions on identifying inconsistencies between the girl’s testimony and police interviews. He also asked about her sexual exploits and credibility.

Lewis produced an interview with one of Shank’s sons, who was her close friend, in which the boy claimed the girl told him she could “lie about being raped” to make sure Shank does not yell at his children anymore.

The girl denied saying that.

She was the only witness the jury heard Tuesday.

The grand jury’s indictment named the 17-year-old as the victim involved in five of charges against Shank. One of the delinquency charges names a second girl, who has not yet given testimony.

There are at least two other teenage girls who may give testimony today. Two were interviewed without the jury present Tuesday. Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier will decide today whether the jury should hear their testimony.

The prosecution asserts Shank engaged in sexual battery in July or August 2008 and on Feb. 7, 2009, and in unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in April or May 2010 and July or August of the same year.

The date is about June 9, 2011, for both delinquency charges.

Contact Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

  • dabbledazzle

    I clearly see reasonable doubt here. who gets raped and then keeps returning to the same house to have it happen again?? the “close friends with the son” claim isn’t working for me.

  • passinthru

    our system has been twisted to the point anyone can say rape and someone’s life is on the line whether it happened or not.Pretty sure if you got raped by someone you dont go back no matter who your friend is.If you know a Rape victim ask them and see.If the jury isnt convinced just by the word rape then i will be suprised

  • MarkSurvance=snich

    Im glad my name is not Mark Survance!

  • medina 1

    Let’s see if the justice system works in Medina. There is absolutely no eveidence in this case and the ridiculousness of the fact that these girls did not report the crimes to the police, their parents or any other adult until several years later and continued to return to the home over and over again, leads me to believe this is just angry kids trying to get revenge or do damage to some random adult for whatever hurts they have experienced. If it happened to him it could be you next….

  • Amazed

    It is a FACT that most sexual assaults happen from someone that the victim KNOWS and trusts. (Look it up! There are tons of reports and statistics) I personally know SEVERAL people that were assaulted as a minor and returned to the house because it was someone they KNEW (ex. relative, someone they trusted) So the accusation that the victims don’t go back is moot. It doesn’t matter why a victim goes back and it doesn’t matter why they didn’t speak up until a later date. Sex with a minor is ILLEGAL! Consider the fact that there are multiple girls testifying to the same accusations. btw when the term SNITCH is used..it is referring to a person that told on another person for doing something they SHOULD NOT have been doing.

  • Mark

    I’m going to go into this as briefly as I can because I’m not sure if I’m aloud to speak about the trial. If you were sitting in the courtroom, you would understand that there is no way these girls could have made something up like this. I helped one girl get over her fears and speak to the police. I had no clue any of the other girls were involved with pat. They came forward on there own. And even this morning, there was another girl who came forward. Coincidence? Probably not.