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Published: Saturday, 6/9/2007

Toledoan convicted of rape, kidnapping

After about 4 1/2 hours of deliberations, a jury in Lucas County Common Pleas Court yesterday found a Toledo man guilty of attacking and raping a woman.

Lawrence Anderson, 38, was charged with rape, felonious assault, and kidnapping. Found guilty on all charges, he faces up to 28 years in prison and classification as a sexual predator.

Prosecutors said he approached the 35-year-old victim, with whom he had a relationship, smashed her head into the window of her car, then dragged her to an abandoned garage, where he beat and raped her.

During the trial's second day, the victim said that Anderson did push her into the car window, which broke the glass, and that once in the abandoned garage he swung a large board at her head but broke her arm instead because she reached up to shield herself. She also testified that Anderson said to her several times that he was going to kill her and her kids.

But recanting what she told investigators, the victim on the stand denied she was raped. Instead, she said, she "made love" to Anderson because she still loved him.

Defense attorney Paul Geller said his client admitted to hitting the victim with a board in a fit of rage. However, he pointed out the victim's own words when she said she was not dragged from her car and she was not raped.

Assistant county prosecutor J. Christopher Anderson told jurors during closing arguments that the victim lied when she was on the witness stand about not being raped. He said that she told two law enforcement officers and a nurse after the incident how she had been raped.

Anderson had a rape conviction in 1987, for which he served 18 years in prison.

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