June 28, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Lodi man, 34, accused of raping family friend after night at the bars

Medina County prosecutors say two Lodi couples’ night on the town in August ended with a husband raping the other man’s wife.

Daniel Archer, 34, is on trial this week in Medina County Common Pleas Court before Judge Christopher J. Collier. If convicted, he could spend up to 11 years in prison.

Archer Daniel

Daniel Archer

Archer is accused of raping a 31-year-old woman, who testified Tuesday that she woke up the morning of Aug. 4 to find Archer naked and on top of her.

She told the jury that she and her husband and Archer and his wife were part of a group that had been celebrating a friend’s graduation from nursing school that night. They set up camper trailers in Litchfield Township and rented a “party bus” to take them to and from The Valley bars in Akron.

Upon returning about 2 a.m., the woman said she went into the camper to sleep and woke up to Archer raping her.

“I actually thought it was my husband,” she said. She said she realized it wasn’t him because her attacker was bald and her husband is not. “When I said, ‘what,’ he grumbled, and I recognized the tone of voice. I was sure — as sure as you can be in the dark — that it was Dan.”

She said Archer left the bedroom. The woman said she could hear her husband outside the camper, and about 10 minutes later, he came inside and noticed she was upset.

She told her husband what happened and he went to confront Archer, who was in another of the camper’s bedrooms with his own wife.

After the confrontation, Archer and his wife left. The woman’s husband packed up the camper and took her to Wooster Community Hospital, the nearest clinic that performs rape kit assessments.

She testified that county sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Kevin Ross interviewed her that night and she told him she was “95 percent certain” Archer was her attacker. The following day, she said she was 100 percent certain.

“I’d known Dan a long time, so it was shocking to me this could occur,” she told the seven-man, five-woman jury Tuesday. “Part of me didn’t want to believe it was him because I knew how serious this was.

“That 5 percent was a coping mechanism at the time.”

During opening arguments, county Assistant Prosecutor Scott Salisbury told the jury that investigators with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation discovered semen on the woman’s underwear that matched Archer’s DNA.

In addition, Archer’s shirt and socks were found inside the woman’s bedroom in the camper, he said.

Salisbury told the jury the case was “more than just ‘he said, she said,’ because we have scientific evidence.”

Archer’s attorney, David Gedrock, told the jury that his client may have been in the bedroom with the woman, but there was no sex.

“Two people — (the woman) and Dan — got in the wrong bed. That’s what happened,” he said.

Gedrock said there were holes in the prosecution’s case, but did not specify what the gaps were.

“The prosecutor’s job is to close the door on this case,” he said. “If they fail to close that door, if there’s a gap left, that’s reasonable doubt.”

Archer’s trial is set to continue today and is expected to last through the week.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon.

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.