MEDINA — When a 17-year-old Wadsworth High School student went to police in September 2012 and accused an 18-year-old man of raping her, Wadsworth police Detective Dawn Schismenos allowed a friend of the girl’s to attend the police interview for moral support.
What the detective didn’t know was the girl’s 15-year-old friend also would say she was raped by the same man.
Ivan L. Ray IV is on trial before Medina County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier. Ray opted for a bench trial, meaning Collier will decide the verdict instead of a jury.
Ray, now 20 and a resident of Florida, is charged with two counts of forcible rape, first-degree felonies punishable by up to 11 years in prison each.
The woman, now 19, testified Monday following opening arguments. There is no DNA evidence in the case because the alleged assaults happened seven months before they were reported.
The woman and her friend went to police at the urging of the woman’s parents. The woman said she knew her friend also had been raped by Ray, but her friend did not want to tell police.
Her friend only told the detective after she broke down in tears during the interview.
Ray is accused of raping the woman in February 2012 and her friend sometime between Dec. 12, 2011, and February 2012.
The woman testified she met Ray over Facebook when she was 17 years old. Ray was 18 at the time. They exchanged phone numbers and met a couple days later.
“The next time she went to see him … they went up to watch a movie in a bedroom where Mr. Ray was staying with friends,” county Assistant Prosecutor Scott Salisbury said during opening arguments.
She testified that Ray, a former wrestler, held her down while he assaulted her.
“I kept saying no and to stop, and I kept trying to push him off me,” she said.
Afterward, she said he went to clean up, but she remained in the house.
“Why didn’t you run out?” Salisbury asked.
“I was scared of him,” she said.
During cross-examination, defense attorney Kristopher Aupperle asked, “Why didn’t you use your fists or your nails or your elbows?”
“Shouldn’t no be enough?” she said.
Aupperle questioned why she was afraid.
“He’s bigger than me,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what he was capable of.”
Aupperle asked the woman about her statement to police that Ray had kissed her shortly after the movie started and she kissed him back.
She acknowledged saying Ray kissed her but said she didn’t remember if she kissed him back.
Aupperle asked why she continued to see Ray — even inviting him over to her home for dinner at the request of her parents.
“You were angry with him?” Aupperle asked.
“Correct,” she said.
“And yet you invited him to your house for dinner?”
The woman said her parents liked Ray and thought he was a good influence on her. She acknowledged that she had abused prescription drugs and now attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
At the dinner, she said Ray announced he was going to New Mexico to visit his girlfriend. The woman’s parents, who may not have known the purpose of the trip, loaned Ray money.
During cross-examination, Aupperle produced printouts of Facebook messages between Ray and the woman. The messages included exchanges such as “I miss you” from both Ray and the woman.
The day Ray returned to Wadsworth, the woman said she ran to greet him and hugged him. Asked if she kissed him, she said there may have been a kiss, but she didn’t remember.
Aupperle asked if she also went fishing with Ray and invited him to a barbecue at her home.
The woman said she didn’t remember that.
“I don’t remember what happened in full detail,” she said.
“This is very important,” Aupperle said.
“I understand that,” she answered.
She will continue her testimony today at 9 a.m.
Her friend, now 17, is expected to take the witness stand during the trial.
Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.