Pepple denies Wine request

Auglaize County Common Pleas Judge Fred Pepple decided to deny a request to sentence Douglas Wine during a bond hearing on Monday, but he did open the door to consider interstate and international travel for employment purposes.

Lorin Zaner, Wine’s attorney, requested the court sentence Wine on his third-degree misdemeanor sexual imposition charge, since he had served more than the maximum penalty on the charge.

“What initially makes sense to me is rather than take up attorney time, which is money, it makes sense to me to sit back and wait on the (Ohio) Supreme Court ruling then the Appeals Court ruling would be final,” Pepple said.

Zaner attempted to have Monday’s bond hearing halted last Wednesday, filing an emergency motion to continue the current bond and asking for two modifications. He also sought an injunction from the state Supreme Court to prohibit the Common Pleas bond hearing until state Supreme Court justices rule on the case.

Zaner has filed for a request for Wine’s appeal to be heard by the state’s High Court, however no decision has yet been made on that request.

Wine was convicted on a charge of gross sexual imposition and was sentenced to a 15-month prison term and a $5,000 fine. On June 25, a certified copy of opinion from the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Lima vacated the charge, saying the state had not presented sufficient evidence that force or a threat of force was used while committing the crime.

Appellate judges ruled sufficient evidence was introduced for the lesser crime of the third-degree misdemeanor charge. Wine’s appeal on the lesser charge is awaiting a decision from the state Supreme Court on if the justices will hear the case.

Wine had already served 77 days on the initial charge when the appellate court judges ruling was passed down and the case was remanded back to Auglaize County for sentencing.

Pepple went forward with the setting of bond, saying he did not want to muddy the water on a jeopardy issue by ordering a sentence in the case.

Pepple ordered a own recognizance bond be set. Conditions to the bond included the defendant not to leave the jurisdiction of the court, to have no contact with the victim, and to check in with his lawyer and the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office once a week.

No bond had been set on the defendant since June 27.

Wine also sought permission to travel back and forth to Lake Cumberland in Kentucky between Oct. 26-30 to winterize a boat and asked for permission to travel out of state to West Virginia and out of the country to Jamaica for possible employment opportunities.

Pepple granted the request but wanted more details before he would allow travel for employment to Jamaica.

“I am hesitant to give a blank check on travel,” Pepple said. “Leaving the U.S., probably not.”

Pepple did say he would consider all requests made with more details of the employment.

Wine was initially indicted on rape. During a jury trial, he was found not guilty of rape and the lesser offense of sexual battery. However, he was found guilty of gross sexual imposition. The jury received instructions before beginning their deliberations that they could consider the lesser-included offenses.

Zaner also has a motion pending before Pepple requesting the vacation of Wine’s conviction, the setting aside of Wine’s classification as a sexually oriented offender and the ordering a new trial.

Zaner filed the motion based upon claims of ineffective assistance of counsel during Wine’s jury trial on the part of Wine’s initial attorney.

No ruling has been issued on the motion and no hearing date has been scheduled.

Zaner also requested that all or part of the $15,000 cash appellate bond set in place Feb. 29 be returned.