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Published: Thursday, 2/23/2006

Emotions overcome victim in rape case

Convicted rapist Neil Newmister, left, with his attorney, Adrian Cimerman, learns his sentencing was postponed. Convicted rapist Neil Newmister, left, with his attorney, Adrian Cimerman, learns his sentencing was postponed.
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A woman who was raped in her North Toledo home by her husband's best friend tried to speak in a Lucas County Common Pleas Courtroom but was crying too hard to get the words out.

Her attacker, Neil Newmister, was scheduled be sentenced by Judge Denise Ann Dartt for the sexual assault nearly four years ago.

Joan Coleman, director of the county prosecutor's victim assistance program, held her arm around the crying victim and read her statement to Judge Dartt.

"I want him to go to prison and pay for what he has done to me and my family," Mrs. Coleman read. "What I need to know most of all is, why Neil did this to me?"

The sentencing for Newmister, 25, was continued to March 15 after his attorney, Adrian Cimerman, asked for a sex-offender classification hearing. Newmister was convicted on Jan. 17 of rape and aggravated burglary.

Even though the sentencing was delayed, Judge Dartt allowed the victim to give her statement yesterday. The victim, who moved out of town after the rape, returned to Toledo with her husband for the hearing.

Newmister broke into the victim's apartment Aug. 10, 2002, on East Manhattan Boulevard and covered her eyes with duct tape. He bound her arms with tape and raped her in front of her 2-year-old son.

He emerged as a suspect in the following weeks after the victim told investigators that her attacker bore a likeness to Newmister.

Her husband, who was close to Newmister, had volunteered for the military after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and was away on training when his wife was assaulted.

The victim said Newmister invited her to a cookout at his home in Luckey and asked whether she wanted to stay at his home after she was raped "so he could protect me and my son from this disgusting person."

Police questioned Newmister about the crime and asked him to submit a DNA sample, but he quit his job and fled to Mexico.

However, investigators searched his home, finding a beverage container with his DNA. It was tested and matched DNA evidence taken from the victim. He was indicted in January, 2003.

Newmister was featured in an episode of America's Most Wanted. A tourist who talked to him in Acapulco used the Web site of the television program to learn about the warrant for his arrest.

The defendant told the informant that he was in trouble and couldn't return to Ohio. He was arrested last summer when FBI agents summoned him to an immigration office to review his paperwork.



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