Rawlins gets 10 years for rape

LIMA — A Lima man convicted of raping a woman in May 2021 was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday.

Jourdyn Rawlins, 20, will spend 10 to 15 years in prison for first-degree felony rape. He was acquitted by a jury of another rape that allegedly occurred in September 2020.

Rawlins must register as a Tier III sex offender and with the sheriff of any county in which he lives, works, volunteers or attends school within three days of his arrival for the remainder of his life. He must report any international travel and provide updated contact information, place of residence and the car in which he drives.

Failure to follow these conditions could result in criminal prosecution.

Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Thines said Tuesday said that in his conversations with members of the jury, they made it “abundantly clear” that they gave no weight or credibility to Rawlins’ Oct. 18 testimony, in which he said he did not rape either woman who accused him, and all sexual acts were consensual.

Thines said Rawlins’ testimony was “cold and rehearsed.” He said the man was out on bail for the September 2020 case through juvenile court for which he was acquitted.

Despite his acquittal, Thines said raping a woman while out on bond shows a disregard for the judicial system.

Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Terri Kohlrieser said the court received several letters in support of Rawlins describing who he is.

Thines said none of the writers of these letters were on Rawlins’ “radar” as sexual conquests, and so did not know that side of him. He said although Rawlins has no prior criminal record, rape is one of, if not the worst things a person can do to another.

Robert Grzybowski, Rawlins’ attorney, said the man’s testimony was his “sincere version of events as he recalls them” and not cold nor rehearsed. He said the jury must have put some weight into it because he was acquitted of one of the charges.

The victim’s grandmother, whom The Lima News will not identify to protect the identity of the victim, said on Tuesday that the rape changed her granddaughter’s life significantly. She said her granddaughter prior to the rape was “beautiful, confident [and] outgoing.”

She said the woman was excited to turn 18 and enjoyed going out. She said after the rape, her granddaughter became depressed and withdrawn, at one point taking an entire bottle of her depression medication and overdosing.

The woman’s grandmother said she began “hating herself” and was lucky to survive her suicide attempt. She said she was sleeping as much as possible to avoid thinking about what Rawlins had done.

She said during the four-day trial, Rawlins was “happy-go-lucky” and thought he would be acquitted in both cases. She said she believes he will rape again and that karma will get him.

Rawlins made no statement to the court and indicated that he intends to appeal his conviction and sentence with a court-appointed attorney.

Kohlrieser said that the victim showed evidence of serious psychological harm in her testimony. She said the crime was committed while Rawlins was charged with another offense “with eerily similar circumstances.”

Kohlrieser said she found the man’s testimony to be “quite interesting and disingenuous” and he did not show any genuine remorse.

“Multiple people on both sides of that aisle have been affected [by Rawlins’ actions],” Kohlrieser said.

Rawlins will receive 264 days of jail time credit toward his sentence — more than eight months. He must file an appeal within 30 days.