Mixed results in Rawlins trial

LIMA — A jury found 19-year old Jourdyn Rawlins guilty of one count of rape and not guilty of another Friday afternoon after more than two hours of deliberation.

Rawlins, of Lima, is convicted of raping a woman in May 2021. He was acquitted of rape that allegedly occurred eight months prior, in September 2020.

Rawlins and his adoptive mother, Nicole Nelson, took the stand Friday morning, with Rawlins asserting that all sexual contact with the alleged victims was consensual, and that he stopped sex as soon as he was told to.

Nelson said on the night of the September 2020 incident, she was in the upstairs living room above the porch with the window open watching television on low volume. Nelson said she did not hear any commotion outside.

In testimony throughout the week, a woman accused Rawlins of rape in September 2020. She said she went to his house and the two sat on his outdoor couch, where he pulled her onto his lap and raped her vaginally. She said she told him no and that she was not “that type of girl,” and got off him and left.

The woman went to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center for a sexual assault exam. In a test performed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, male DNA that was Rawlins’ or that of a male relative of his was found on some of those samples.

In testimony, the May 2021 victim said she had told Rawlins that she was on her period and did not want to have sex when he asked her to hang out. She said in his bedroom, Rawlins removed her sweatshirt so forcefully that she had a headache after.

The woman said Rawlins raped her vaginally for about three or four minutes. She said she cried the entire time and he stopped when she quit fighting him.

The woman said she refused a ride home from Rawlins, and he followed her in his car, yelling at her to not tell anyone what happened as she walked home. She said a friend took her to St. Rita’s for a sexual assault exam.

Erika Jimenez, a forensic scientist at BCI, said DNA likely to be Rawlins’ was found on samples from the woman’s rape kit.

In a statement to Jordyn Rider of Allen County Children Services, the woman said Rawlins held his hand over her mouth while he held her down by the wrists while he raped her.

In Ohio, first-degree felony rape requires three to ten years in prison.

Rawlins’ bond was immediately revoked and he was taken into custody. Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser ordered a pre-sentencing investigation. A sentencing date has not yet been set.