LIMA — Yosmer Camejo cried and hugged his attorney when an Allen County jury on Wednesday returned a verdict of not guilty against him for allegedly raping a young woman at an Elida Road residence earlier this year.
The woman, who testified Tuesday that she had been sexually assaulted by the 26-year-old defendant, cried out “You all let a rapist go free!” as she stormed from the courtroom.
Jurors deliberated for less than three hours Wednesday before returning their verdicts after Camejo testified that a sexual encounter between himself and his alleged victim was consensual in nature.
He was charged with two counts of rape, first-degree felonies for allegedly forcing himself sexually on 26-year-old Megan Estes at an Elida Road residence on June 4 of this year. The Lima News does not typically identify rape victims but Estes consented to the use of her name and likeness.
Camejo, 28, took the stand Wednesday as the lone defense witness. He said a sexual encounter between himself and Estes was not forced, as the woman alleged, and that he was never asked to stop once sex acts were initiated.
Estes told jurors on the trial’s opening day how Camejo made repeated sexual advances toward her on the night in question and how she rebuffed every attempt by the defendant to coax her into a sexual situation.
When Camejo kissed her against her will inside a bedroom of the home, with another occupant of the home present and looking on, Estes testified, she “got up and walked away … because I had a gut feeling I was going to get raped.”
Camejo denied groping the woman or making sexually suggestive comments. He said Estes came into his room and the pair “ended up making out.” Camejo then suggested that he perform oral sex on her “and she pushed her pants off and got under the covers,” he testified. “We then proceeded to have sex.”
Camejo said the woman never asked him to stop.
A person at the Elida Road home on the night in question testified Wednesday that Camejo was sexually aggressive in his actions toward Estes on the evening of June 4. Kenneth Lowe said he and other males at the home, including Camejo, were drinking that evening that the defendant “said he was going to get some (sex) from (Estes) someway, somehow that night. She told him to stop but he wouldn’t, so I had to get in his face.”
Lowe said Camejo “kept putting his hands on her and tried to kiss her (but) she was not interested in any way, shape or form.”
Jurors instead chose to believe the defendant.
Additional testimony on Wednesday came from Morgan Sneary, a sexual assault nurse at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center, who performed a rape kit evaluation on Estes. Devonie Herdeman, a forensic scientist in the DNA section of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, testified that traces of the fluid found in semen was contained in a vaginal swab taken from Estes and that the DNA contained in the semen matched that of Camejo.