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Venue change sought by man accused of rape

January 9, 2019

A Fort Wayne man accused of raping a teenager after abducting her from a bus stop in November says he can’t get a fair trial with jurors from Allen County.

William J. Ray, 35, argues in court documents filed Monday “there is either a high probability or existence of widespread bias or prejudice in the community.” The motion for change of venue asks a judge to scheduled a hearing where evidence including news reports and comments on social media will be presented. 

″(They) address William Ray’s (alleged) guilt and the appropriate punishment to be levied against him both through the judicial process and by way of physical harm,” the two-page document filed by defense attorney Gregory Ridenour states. 

Ray is charged with rape, sexual battery, kidnapping, criminal confinement and burglary. He allegedly took the 15-year-old girl Nov. 29 from a bus stop at Smith Street and Rudisill Boulevard and sexually assaulted her inside a nearby shed. 

He was arrested after the girl’s mother chased Ray in her car and called 911. 

Defendants can ask to move their trials or for jurors to be selected from other counties by claiming bias or prejudice among potential jurors in the county where the crime allegedly occurred. A pretrial conference is scheduled next week.

mleblanc@jg.net

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