Third rape trial underway for Gary man

2013-11-19T18:30:00Z 2013-11-20T00:43:06Z Third rape trial underway for Gary manSusan Brown susan.brown@nwi.com, (219) 662-5325 nwitimes.com
November 19, 2013 6:30 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A Gary man is facing a third rape trial in less than a year.

In the trial currently underway, Ronald Thompson, 42, is charged with rape, criminal deviate conduct, robbery, criminal confinement and battery. He's accused of sexually assaulting an Elkhart woman Aug. 12, 2012, in downtown Gary.

Thompson is alleged to have offered a ride to the woman, who had missed her bus, but then took her to a place of business in Merrillville where he demanded oral sex before raping her. The woman suffered numerous injuries, including bruises and broken ribs, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Veronica Gonzalez told jurors.

"This was not consensual sex," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez acknowledged the woman had been drinking during her trip from Elkhart by trolley, bus and train to visit a nephew in Gary. She tested at more than twice the legal limit when taken for medical treatment, Gonzalez said.

Defense attorney Matthew Fech drew the jury's attention to the woman's drunkenness, arguing the case would come down to how credible jurors found the woman's testimony.

Fech said the woman's alcohol use rendered information she gave police "inconsistent at best."

In a separate case, Thompson was sentenced to four years in prison in September for an assault on a Gary woman Dec. 17 at a Merrillville business.

A jury in June deadlocked on a rape charge in that case but convicted Thompson of criminal confinement, sexual battery and battery.

Prosecutors retired Thompson on the rape charge in August, and he again was acquitted.

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