August 2, 2014

Medina
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Guilty verdict in sex case

MEDINA — A jury found a Montville Township man guilty Friday of forcing sex on a teenage girl several times in his home.

Following a weeklong trial, Patrick J. Shank, 45, of 5170 Chippewa Road, was convicted of three third-degree felonies: two counts of sexual battery and one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He also was convicted of two first-degree misdemeanor counts of contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor.

Patrick Shank

Shank was acquitted on one charge of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each felony count. Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier could order the sentences to run concurrently.

The verdict came after 3ᄑ hours of deliberation.

County Prosecutor Dean Holman said he was pleased with the verdict.

“This type of case is always difficult because young people’s memories are affected by the passage of time, and this case had no medical evidence,” Holman said. “We’re very satisfied with the verdict.”

He said he could not say more until after the Dec. 10 sentencing.

Defense attorney Kenneth Lewis said he plans to appeal the verdict.

“We feel justice was not served today,” Lewis said.

The felony charges accused Shank of forcing a 17-year-old York Township girl to have sex with him on four occasions between 2008 and 2010.

The girl, who testified Tuesday, was between 13 and 15 at the time.

The contributing delinquency charges named the York Township girl and a 19-year-old woman, who testified Wednesday that Shank tried to seduce her in June 2011 after giving her liquor during a party in his home.

Shank pleaded not guilty to all six charges in June.

In his closing argument Friday, Lewis accused the prosecution’s witnesses of lying, echoing his opening statement Tuesday.

He said the York Township girl “lied to her mother, she lied to her friends, she lied to other people.”

He also questioned why the witnesses said they didn’t shout for help, go to the police or run to a neighbor.

In most cases, Lewis added, the girls said they continued to visit the Shank residence.

“The facts and evidence demonstrate this is not reasonable conduct,” he said.

Lewis suggested that Mark Survance, a former boyfriend of three of the witnesses, was behind the accusations.

County Assistant Prosecutor Scott Salisbury told the jury that Survance, who testified Thursday, urged the girls to go to the police but had no motive to harm Shank.

In his closing argument, Salisbury reminded jurors that Survance testified that he considered Shank a friend until seeing him kiss one of the girls.

Survance and the York Township girl went to Montville police on June 29, 2011, and a yearlong investigation followed. A county grand jury indicted Shank on June 27 and he was arrested July 7.

Salisbury also pointed out that two other women testified Shank sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers.

Salisbury said the reason the girls did not immediately go to police is because Shank threatened them and because he provided them alcohol, which most of them couldn’t get elsewhere.

“This is the greatest place in the world for teenagers of that mindset,” Salisbury said.

Jurors declined to comment on their deliberations.

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