(WKBN) – An Ohio man is getting a new trial in a rape case after an Ohio Supreme Court decision.
Tracy McNeal was convicted of rape in 2014 after prosecutors say he assaulted a woman in Dayton.
The panel ruled that the prosecution failed to turn over a laboratory report that could have raised a question about the credibility of the alleged victim’s testimony.
According to court documents, McNeal and his wife and children were staying at the home of a woman identified as C.R. On the evening of the alleged rape, McNeal, his wife, C.R. and C.R.’s sister Samantha were drinking alcohol. C.R. became sick and was carried to her bedroom.
Later, Samantha went to check on C.R. and found McNeal standing in the bedroom with his pants down and pulling the door shut behind him, according to court documents.
C.R. later testified that she was “knocked out” and “really, really” drunk and awoke later with the understanding that someone had sex with her. She testified that did not know what she was doing and did not consent to having sex.
Samantha told her sister that saw McNeal in her bedroom and that he was the one who had sex with her.
McNeal was tried and convicted of rape and with a repeat violent offender specification because of his criminal history.
McNeal did not immediately ask for a new trial, but in 2020, he received a lab report from Dayton police through a public records request. The report indicated that the victim did not have alcohol in her system approximately 3.5 hours after the alleged rape was to have occurred. That lab report was not turned over during his trial, and the prosecutor’s office did not respond or challenge McNeal’s claim that the report was inappropriately withheld.
McNeal argued that the report should have been turned over and showed that C.R. was not substantially impaired by alcohol at the time of the alleged rape. And that would contradict C.R.’s testimony that she could not consent to sex because she was too intoxicated.
The court stated that it was not ruling on whether McNeal has demonstrated that he is entitled to a new trial, but that his request must be granted because the lower court denied it based on the fact that it was “untimely,” being filed six years after his conviction. However, even though a new trial request must be requested within 14 days after conviction or 120 days if there is new evidence, McNeal was denied the new evidence by the lab report being withheld and therefore was not bound by the time constraints.