Westerville man found not guilty in rape case


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@delgazette.com



A Westerville man was found not guilty of kidnapping, rape, gross sexual imposition, and sexual batter after a trial last week in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

Samuel D. Sharifi appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court on Nov. 7 to stand trial for the charges, including one count of kidnapping, a first-degree felony; three counts of rape, first-degree felonies; one count of gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony; one count of sexual battery, a third-degree felony; and one count of attempt to commit an offense, a second-degree felony.

A jury heard the case for two days and on Nov. 9 returned a not guilty verdict to all the charges.

Sharifi’s attorney, Joseph Landusky, said Sharifi felt “vindicated” by the verdict.

“I’m excited about it,” Landusky said Thursday. “He’s been living in pure hell. Now he has his freedom.”

Visiting Judge Timothy Campbell presided over the case.

Prosecutors alleged that during the period of June 1, 2016 through June 14, 2016, Sharifi by force, threat, or deception restrained the liberty of another person and sexually assaulted them. The indictment stated that on two other occasions, Sharifi knew the victim was impaired because of a mental or physical condition and used that knowledge to sexually assault them. The indictment also stated that Sharifi also attempted to commit rape another time, separate from the other three incidents.

Sharifi was indicted on April 14 and pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment on June 2. He was out of jail on a personal recognizance bond for the duration of the trial. He was originally scheduled to stand trial in September, but the trial was delayed until last week.

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@delgazette.com

Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.