December 22, 2014

Medina
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Montville Twp. man guilty of repeatedly raping teenage babysitter

Patrick Shank

Patrick Shank

MEDINA — A judge found a former Montville Township man guilty Monday morning of raping the family babysitter more than 100 times from 2003 to 2005.

Patrick Shank, 47, was charged with 12 counts of rape, first-degree felonies.

Medina County Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler found Shank guilty on three counts of rape and reduced the charges in the nine other counts to sexual battery, third-degree felonies.

Kimbler decided the case because Shank declined a jury trial.

In the new case, he could face a minimum of three years of mandatory prison time on each rape conviction or up to 68 years if all counts are maximized and served consecutively.

Shank already is serving a six-year prison sentence at Belmont Correctional Institution after a 2012 conviction on charges of sexual battery and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Kimbler will sentence Shank on Sept. 25.

At Shank’s trial, which began Aug. 18 and lasted through Thursday, a 24-year-old Montville Township woman testified Shank got her drunk and raped her when she was 13 years old in 2003, and then continued to rape her every week for two years.

County Assistant Prosecutor Scott Salisbury said he was pleased with the verdict.

“More than anything, we feel good for the victims,” he said. “They were pretty courageous young women to come forward.”

Salisbury urged the judge to convict because the allegations echoed those in Shank’s 2012 case — in which he was accused of getting a 13-year-old girl drunk and sexually assaulting her in 2008, followed by three more assaults in the following two years.

Salisbury said he talked with the women involved in both cases and said they were relieved.

“They felt justified in coming forward and vindicated because it wasn’t for naught,” he said. “The court believed them, I think rightfully so, which I think makes them feel justified in coming forward.”

Salisbury hoped there were no other victims, but urged any others to come forward.

“That’s a very personal decision,” he said. “It’s not easy, so we understand why young women wouldn’t come forward.”

Shank’s team of attorneys — Elizabeth Kelley, Richard Lillie and Gretchen Holderman — said their client never sexually assaulted anyone and insisted his accusers were lying.

Kelley said Shank’s family took the verdict hard.

“They were disappointed because they love Patrick, and they believe that he is innocent,” Kelley said. “However, they respect the court’s verdict, and Pat and his family hope to keep fighting with an appeal.”

When the judge read the verdict, Shank’s wife responded by saying, “There is no justice in this system,” before being hushed by her attorneys.

Kelley said the case was difficult to try because the allegations referred to a decade ago.

“We put on the strongest possible case that we could on behalf of our client, and our hearts go out to him and his family,” she said. “As I said in opening arguments, these are always difficult cases because they boil down to he said, she said.”

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