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Published: Wednesday, 7/11/2007

Former Perrysburg Township police officer convicted of rape

BLADE STAFF

BOWLING GREEN A former Perrysburg Township police officer was convicted today of raping a 25-year-old Perrysburg woman he met at a local bar and followed home last August.

After deliberating more than five hours, a jury in Wood County Common Pleas Court found Richard Solether, 40, guilty of the first-degree felony. He faces 3-10 years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 31 by Judge Alan Mayberry.

The case pivoted on the testimony of Mr. Solether and the victim because there was no physical evidence presented during the two-day trial.

Mr. Solether, who took the stand in his defense this morning, testified that he and the victim were making out at his apartment when he digitally penetrated her.

He said things did not go any further when she said to him, I don t think we should do this anymore. I don t know you that well.

The victim testified yesterday that he had forced himself on her despite her repeated requests for him to stop and either take her home or call a cab for her.

She said she did not immediately report the incident to police because she knew he was a police officer and she didn t know who she could trust.

A probationary police officer at the time of the incident, Mr. Solether was fired by the township a day after his indictment by a Wood County grand jury.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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