LIMA — A Lima man charged with raping a young girl appeared in court Thursday seeking to suppress statements he made to investigators following his arrest.
The attorney for Everett Ward filed a motion in July alleging that police had failed to properly advise Ward of his Miranda rights against self-incrimination prior to conducting a jailhouse interrogation.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kenneth Sturgill said during Thursday’s hearing that a video recording of the interview in question will show that Ward was sufficiently administered the required warning before the interrogation got underway.
A CD of the video was presented to Judge Jeffrey Reed for review. Reed said a ruling could be rendered as early as next week.
The judge also set a new tentative date of March 17, 2020, for Ward’s trial to begin.
A grand jury in June returned indictments on two counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition alleging Ward, 42, engaged in sexual conduct with a person less than 13 years of age by force or the threat of force on or about Aug. 6 of last year.
The rape charges are first-degree felonies, while the gross sexual imposition is a third-degree felony.
According to court documents, the mother of a juvenile female on April 1 of this year reported to the Lima Police Department that her daughter had been sexually assaulted by Ward at his residence on Elm Street in Lima. The alleged victim told her mother that Ward “had her get naked and sit on his lap while he was naked,” court documents show. At that time, Ward reportedly began to touch the young girl’s breasts and vaginal area.
Ward initially denied any wrongdoing but later changed his statement and admitted having contact with the juvenile, stating that she spent the night at his trailer, according to court documents. He reportedly told police he had sexual contact with the juvenile, who he knew to be under the age of 13, for the purpose of sexual gratification.