Youngstown rape victim wants suspect tried in 5-year-old case - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown rape victim wants suspect tried in 5-year-old case

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Maurice Clark Maurice Clark

In September in 2009, LaTreese Miller said she was violently raped by a co-worker she had car pooled to work with. 

Maurice Clark was criminally charged with that crime in April of 2010. 

"It's so traumatic. It hurts. I still have nightmares about when he raped me five years ago. I had to drop out of college. Most of the times I have not been notified of the continuances until the day of the scheduled trial or the day before," said Miller. "This has caused great hardships with work. There has been delay after delay and there is no good reason for this."

Miller feels the criminal justice system, under Judge Maureen Sweeney, has victimized her again. The Ohio Justice League said the case docket shows the court set 19 dates for trial, yet the trail dates were reset and a majority continued at the request of the defense attorney. 

In August 2013, The Ohio Justice League filed two motions with Sweeney's court objecting to further delays. Then, last week another delay came.

LaTreese Miller's question for Judge Sweeney and everyone else is, "What if this was you, your mother, your sister, your daughter, your son, anyone in your family? How would you feel about delay after delay? Who is running the courtroom? Who is the Judge here? Is it Maurice Clark's attorney Thomas Zena, or is it Judge Sweeney because I don't know. I don't have faith in the system anymore."

The Justice League of Ohio,for the first time in it's 11 year history, has filed a motion with an appellate court. It is asking the 7th District Court of Appeals to order Sweeney to rule on motions and set a certain date for trial.

If the court finds there is no standing for the victim to bring this action, the Justice League said it is prepared to argue that there is standing for the victim to seek a Writ of Mandamus through this court. 

Attorney Elizabeth A. Well said, "LaTreese Miller is just looking for what she's been promised by the Ohio Revised Code, by the Ohio Constitution. She just wants her rights to be upheld."

The Ohio Supreme Court guidelines call for felony case to be heard within six months after arraignment as a reasonable amount of time. 21 News called Judge Sweeney to ask why she has not ruled on motions and set this almost five year old rape case for an actual trial. 

Her staff said, "Judge Sweeney has no comment." 

The Judge has 28 days to respond to the Complaint for a Writ of Mandamus filed against her in the 7th District Court of Appeals.

Mahoning Prosecutor Paul Gains office is supposed to represent county judges, however, the victim in this case is the witness against Judge Sweeney. Gains said, "I will read the complaint and determine how to handle this."

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