Bound, Gagged and Raped
Jury could face decades in prison
Jun 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM
A jury found Brian Jury, 39, guilty Thursday on multiple felony charges in connection with the November abduction and rape of a Lorain woman.
The Groton Township man is now awaiting his July 14th sentencing, which could put him behind bars for decades, officials said.
After nearly two weeks of trial proceedings and a day and a half of deliberations, jurors found Jury guilty on two of the five rape charges leveled against him, as well as two counts of abduction and one count of felonious assault.
Notably, they found Jury not guilty on a charge of attempted murder.
Firearms specifications on each of his rape and abduction convictions could also increase the length of Jury's sentence.
Jury's original charges stemmed from the afternoon of Nov. 1, when a naked woman was found bound and gagged on Strecker Road. The woman told investigators Jury had abducted her at gunpoint in Lorain, then restrained and repeatedly raped her in the preceding hours. She then managed to break free and was found by a passing driver and off-duty Erie County deputy.
When Jury took the stand this week, he told a different story. He met the woman to have paid sex that day, Jury said. But he later snapped when he learned she stole $100 from him and threatened to extort $1,000 more. Jury told the court he panicked, so he bound and gagged her, then planned to return a few hours later after they had both “cooled off.”
A few jurors said they had serious reservations about both Jury and the victim's credibility at times.
Even so, Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter crunched some quick numbers after the verdict was returned, roughly estimating a possible 36-year sentence for Jury.
The jury's verdict came after a tumultuous 48 hours: one juror experienced medical issues and a second had a family emergency, officials said.
That shake-up forced the jury to twice begin deliberations anew—each time a juror had to leave, an alternate juror had to join in the proceedings.
But by about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the final group of 12 reached their conclusion.
Jury's two third-degree felony abduction charges were essentially reduced from the first-degree kidnapping charges on which he was originally indicted. Curiously, the jury also opted to find Jury guilty on some, but not all, of the rape charges brought against him.
Jack Bradley, Jury's defense attorney, called the verdict “unusual.”
“I'm certainly disappointed,” Bradley said. “I'm not sure how they could believe she was raped twice, but not the (other three times).”
Baxter, meanwhile, said he was satisfied with the verdict, despite a not guilty verdict on the attempted murder charge.
“I knew that was probably the most difficult (charge) of the case.” Baxter said.
Three jurors chose to speak with the Register following the proceedings.
Though each offered different perspectives, they all agreed that the particulars of the Jury case made their jobs complicated: there were numerous witnesses, several charges and many pieces of evidence to consider.
They also indicated the decision to pursue abduction rather than kidnapping came down to just two jurors whose opinions dissented from the rest.
To find Jury guilty of kidnapping, one juror explained, they had to decide whether Jury intentionally terrorized the victim—not just if the victim was terrorized as a result of Jury's actions.
Additionally, the number of rape convictions was a tough decision to hash out, one said.
One juror said the amount of time the pair were in the camper cast doubt in her mind as to whether all five rape counts were an appropriate finding. Others said the results of a sexual assault examination played a part in their perspectives. And still another's point of contention was the woman's varied accounts of the attack itself.
Of the victim, one juror said: “I think she reacted (more) emotionally to things she was telling the truth (about).”
As for Jury: “He was well-coached.”
“He was too perfect to be genuine,” another said.
For his part, Jury was reserved for most of the trial, taking notes and paying close attention to proceedings.
He was escorted from the courtroom without ado Thursday, and taken to the Erie County jail. He'll remain there until his July sentencing.