June 27, 2016

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Women recount sexual assaults by Montville Twp. man

MEDINA — A 22-year-old woman testified Wednesday that a Montville Township man sexually assaulted her four times over 2½ years at his home.

Wednesday was the second day of testimony in the trial of Patrick J. Shank, 45, of 5170 Chippewa Road.

Patrick Shank

Shank is charged with four third-degree felonies: two counts of sexual battery and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

He also is charged with two counts of contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor, which are first-degree misdemeanors.

Prosecutors said Shank forced a York Township girl to have sex with him several times between 2008 and 2010. The girl, who was 13 in 2008, testified Tuesday.

On the witness stand Wednesday, another woman, now 22, said she had four sexual encounters with Shank against her will, which took place in his second-floor bedroom. She said she started going to the home in 2008 to visit Shank’s three teenage children and often would spend the night.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Kenneth Lewis asked why she didn’t go to the police.

“I was scared,” she said, “and I felt threatened because he told me not to tell anyone.”

She said she had seen guns in the Shank home.

Lewis asked the girl why she continued to go to Shank’s home for 2½ years.

She said she was afraid to stop visiting because people might ask why.

Also on the stand Wednesday, a 20-year-old woman said Shank molested her when she was 16 the morning after a party at his home. She testified he did it again that afternoon while she showered.

Lewis questioned why the woman stuck around after the first event.

She said she had no car and no driver’s license and was waiting on a ride.

Asked why she felt comfortable enough to take a shower in the home, she said she trusted him.

“He was one of us,” she said.

Three witnesses who have testified so far said that Shank, who is the lead singer in a heavy metal band, sexually molested them at his home — sometimes at parties where they said he provided them with alcohol.

Under cross examination, both witnesses Wednesday echoed Tuesday’s witness in that they did not scream or yell while Shank molested them, despite other people being home.

Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier reminded jurors that the women were not identified as victims. Their purpose in the trial, he said, is to aid the prosecution in identifying a pattern of behavior.

County Prosecutor Dean Holman declined to explain why Shank was charged only with molesting the 17-year-old girl who testified Tuesday. He said he could not comment until after the trial.

Another witness Wednesday was identified as the victim in one of Shank’s contributing delinquency charges.

Sarah Kaletta, 19, said she was 17 when Shank provided her with alcohol at his home and tried to seduce her last year.

The prosecution entered into evidence photos showing Shank and Kaletta in Shank’s garage participating in a drinking game. Bottles of liquor and beer could be seen in the photos, which were taken with a cell phone camera.

Shank’s defense attorney questioned the identity of the people in the photographs, pointing out that many were blurry or out of focus.

Kaletta said she recognized herself and Shank in the photos.

The trial is scheduled to continue 9 a.m. today.

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

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.