LIMA — Auglaize County Common Pleas Judge Frederick Pepple, sitting by assignment to hear defense arguments alleging that police exceeded their authorized scope in searching the home of a Lima man, on Monday ruled that evidence found during that search will be admissible at trial.
Pepple was assigned by the Ohio Supreme Court to hear the motions filed on behalf of Terrez Carter, who faces an assortment of rape and drug-related charges in Allen County.
Defense Attorney Kenneth Rexford claimed in motions filed in Allen County Common Pleas Court that insufficient probable cause existed for the execution of the search warrant at Carter’s home in June of last year that turned up evidence of drug sales as well as video recordings of alleged rapes.
Carter, 46, was indicted last summer in connection with an alleged rape that occurred around April 19 at a residence at 717 N. Metcalf St. Three additional rape charges, also first-degree felonies, were filed against Carter for alleged incidents that took place in 2015. The alleged rape victim in the 2018 case was different from the victim in the 2015 case, officials said.
Two kidnapping charges, each first-degree felonies, were included in the indictment — each related to the alleged rapes. Carter was also indicted for possession of a bulk amount of cocaine, a felony of the first degree.
At issue in the motion to suppress was a search warrant of Carter’s home authorized by Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed.
Rexford argued that videos depicting an alleged rape — found by police in a camera situated atop a tripod in Carter’s bedroom — should not have been taken into evidence because the scope of the search warrant pertained only to a rape that allegedly occurred in 2018. Scenes of what police and prosecutors said were rapes involving another woman some three years earlier were allegedly found on the videos.
But Pepple, citing Ohio case law, ruled that police were within their rights to seize as evidence and to view the contents of any electronic devices found inside Carter’s home.
If convicted on all counts against him, Carter faces up to 117 years behind bars.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.