Columbus man found guilty of sexual battery


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com



Ward

Ward


A Columbus man was found guilty of two counts of sexual battery but was acquitted on two counts of rape after a trial in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

Brandon Michael Ward, 29, of Columbus stood trial Tuesday and faced two charges of rape, first-degree felony; two counts of sexual battery, third-degree felonies and one count of theft, a first-degree misdemeanor.

However, before the trial, Ward entered a guilty plea to the theft charge and only stood trial for the sexual assault charges.

At Ward’s arraignment, Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Mark Sleeper said that on June 24 Ward had been invited to watch a movie at the dorm room of a 21-year-old Ohio Wesleyan University student. Sleeper said that during the movie, the student fell asleep and later woke up while Ward was having sex with her.

The victim reportedly told Ward to leave and then went to Grady Memorial Hospital and asked for a rape examination. Police were contacted by hospital staff.

When the student returned to her dorm room, she realized that Ward had also stolen $609 from her room after the assault, police said. Police added that the victim and Ward were not romantically involved.

According to court documents, the jury returned a verdict on Oct. 6 and found Ward guilty of the two sexual battery charges and not guilty of the two rape charges.

After the verdict, Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Everett Krueger ordered that Ward undergo a pre-sentence investigation but a sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Ward was in the Delaware County Jail Friday.

He was originally indicted by a grand jury on July 29 on a charge of rape, a charge of sexual battery and a charge of theft. An Aug. 5 indictment includes an additional rape charge and an additional sexual battery charge. The indictment indicates the new offenses are part of the same incident. The July 29 case was dismissed after Ward was indicted on Aug. 5 because the more recent indictment is more complete, prosecutors said at the time.

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http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2016/10/web1_brandon-ward.jpgWard

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.