September 21, 2014

Medina
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‘He took my virginity,’ Medina woman says of man facing rape charges

Attorney Elizabeth Kelley stands with her client, Patrick Shank, at his trial on Monday. Seated are Shank’s other attorneys, Richard Lillie and Gretchen Holderman. Shank is standing trial on 12 counts of rape, accused of sexually assaulting a teenager more than 100 times between 2003 and 2005. (NICK GLUNT / GAZETTE)

Attorney Elizabeth Kelley stands with her client, Patrick Shank, at his trial on Monday. Seated are Shank’s other attorneys, Richard Lillie and Gretchen Holderman. Shank is standing trial on 12 counts of rape, accused of sexually assaulting a teenager more than 100 times between 2003 and 2005. (NICK GLUNT / GAZETTE)

A Montville Township woman testified Monday that a convicted sex offender raped her more than 100 times over a two-year period when she was 13 to 15 years old.

Patrick Shank, 47, is serving a six-year prison sentence at Belmont Correctional Institution after being convicted in October 2012 of two counts of sexual battery and a count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, felonies of the third degree.

At his trial, which began Monday, Shank faces 12 counts of rape, first-degree felonies. If convicted, he could face up to 11 years in prison on each count.

Shank declined a jury and chose to be tried by Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler.

In the new case, prosecutors say Shank raped the girl after providing her with alcohol and then continued to assault her for two years. Shank’s attorneys say the woman was never raped and the accusations arose from a “neighborhood spat gone wrong.”

The woman, who once lived near Shank and his family in Montville Township, testified Monday that she started babysitting the family’s four children when she was 12 years old.

She said Shank made inappropriate comments to her. When she was 13 in 2003, he asked if she had ever performed fellatio. Some time later he provided her with alcohol at a birthday party.

“I’m not sure how many drinks I had, but I was intoxicated,” said the woman, now 24 years old. “I remember looking out the window and not being able to focus on anything because I was just spinning.”

Patrick Shank

Patrick Shank

After the birthday party, she said Shank brought her back to his home and raped her in an in-house recording studio he used for his heavy metal rock band, Not of This Earth. His family was home and asleep, she told the court.

“He told me to go in the recording studio and lay down, so I did,” she said.

“What happened next?” county Assistant Prosecutor Scott Salisbury asked.

“He took my virginity,” she said, and then broke down into tears. “It felt like forever.”

She said she didn’t want Shank to have sex with her but also didn’t want anyone to know about what had happened.

“I remember thinking not to make any noise because I did not want (Shank’s wife) Darla to come downstairs and see us,” the woman said.

She said she and Darla Shank were close, and she didn’t want to cause any pain for the family.

After raping her, she said Shank took her to the living room, where he fell asleep on a loveseat.

The woman said she never fell asleep.

“When Darla came downstairs, I pretended I was sleeping,” she said. “I didn’t want her to see me like that.

“I was in so much pain, all I wanted to do was cry.”

In the morning, she said she went home and got into the bathtub, where she stayed for three hours.

“Why didn’t you tell anyone?” Salisbury asked.

“I was ashamed of myself,” she said. “I didn’t want anyone to find out.”

“Why didn’t you tell your mother?” he asked.

“Because I didn’t want her to look at me any different.”

The woman said she continued to babysit the Shank children despite what happened because she loved the kids and was close with Darla.

She testified that Shank continued to rape her.

“It happened every week, a few times a week,” she said. “It was over a hundred times.”

On some occasions, she said Shank would come to her home and convince her to let him inside. He would then rape her in her bedroom, she said.

The woman said the assaults would often happen after concerts performed by Shank’s band. At the concerts, she said Shank often would supply her and her friend with alcohol to the point that they were intoxicated.

The woman said Shank began to leave her alone in 2005. She said she suspected that he was sexually abusing another girl in the neighborhood. She also suspected Shank was having an affair with a woman who was about his own age.

The woman testified that her mother began to suspect something was wrong because her behavior began to change. Her grades started to slip and she began cutting herself on her legs. She said she wore only pants and stopped swimming to hide the cuts, stopped going to church and lost touch with many friends.

When her mother asked if Shank was acting inappropriately, she said she lied. The only person she told was a close friend of hers, who is expected to testify later in the trial.

The woman said she never intended to tell her mother or anyone else about what happened to her. She said she changed her mind after seeing Shank’s photograph and story about his 2012 trial in The Gazette.

In that trial, Shank was accused of providing alcohol to a York Township girl and forcing himself on her several times between 2008 and 2010, when she was between 13 and 15 years old.

Two other girls testified at trial that Shank assaulted them as well, but no charges were filed on their behalf. Their testimony was used by prosecutors to establish a pattern of criminal activity.

Shank’s wife testified at trial that she didn’t believe any of the girls who came forward.

On the witness stand Monday, the woman said she decided to come forward because she wanted Shank’s wife to know the truth.

“I didn’t know there were other girls after me,” the woman said. “I felt like it was my job to tell Darla.

“I needed Darla to realize this is the man she’s married to.”

That night, she said she told her mother. The next day she told her story to Montville Township police.

During cross examination, one of Shank’s attorneys, Richard Lillie, questioned why the woman would continue to go to Shank’s house.

“It never occurred to you that after you’d been raped, it was a danger to go there?” Lillie asked.

“I was there for the kids,” she said.

“It was worth it to you to get assaulted if you got to see the kids and Darla?” Lillie asked.

“Yes. I put them above me.”

Lillie asked if she ever suspected Shank was sexually abusing his children.

“God, no,” she said. “If those kids ever said that to me, I’d go straight to the police. And I hope to God that didn’t happen.”

Lillie asked her to be more specific how many times she and Shank “had sex.”

“I don’t have a specific number or dates,” she said. “He raped me. I did not have sex with him. That’s something you do with someone you’re with and who you love.”

Lillie also questioned why the woman failed to notice that Shank had a scar on his genitalia — the result of falling out of a tree when he was a child.

Judge Kimbler approved Lillie’s request to have a photo of the scar taken and entered into evidence.

Shank’s trial is set to continue today at 10 a.m.

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