Man convicted of sexual assaults
Garrettsville resident facing possible life-without-parole sentence for verdicts
WARREN — A jury of nine women and three men took less than an hour Wednesday to return 10 guilty verdicts against a Garrettsville man accused of sexually abusing three Trumbull County girls between the ages of 8 and 12 over a two-year span beginning in February 2018.
Edward L. Wymer, 33, was convicted on a 10-count indictment, charging eight counts of gross sexual imposition and two counts of rape.
The defendant shook his head as the lengthy verdict sheet was read by Common Pleas Judge Ronald J. Rice. He put his head into his hands before being led away in handcuffs by deputies.
Wymer, who has been in custody since Sept. 18, 2020, had his bond revoked. Rice set sentencing for 2:30 p.m. March 9. The judge could sentence Wymer to a maximum life-without-parole sentence for the rape verdicts.
Wymer recently turned down a plea offer that would sentence him to 10-years-to-life in prison.
Defense attorney David Rouzzo, who said this was his first trial since the summer of 2019, said he had no comment on the jury verdicts.
Assistant Prosecutor Gabriel Wildman said he was delighted with the jury’s actions.
“The result was because of the courage of the three young girls in this case who stood up to this man,” Wildman said.
Prior to getting the case in the early afternoon, the jury heard from the last prosecution witness on Wednesday morning.
Monique Malmer, a nurse practitioner with the Tri-County Child Advocacy Center in Boardman, testified that she examined two of the victims, while the youngest victim had refused to be examined. She said she has done more than 2,000 such examinations during the course of her career.
Malmer, who was classified as an expert witness, said there was no apparent injury to the girls. However, because of the pain both expressed, she believes that their private parts were touched, thus meeting the legal standard for rape, according to Wildman.
All three victims earlier testified about Wymer’s actions, which included inappropriate touches over and under clothing and oral sex with one of them. The attacks took place at homes in Niles, Warren and Cortland, according to testimony.
Other than cross-examining those on the stand, Rouzzo did not call any witnesses, including the defendant.
The three-day trial was the first criminal proceeding involving a jury in Trumbull County since the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March. The courtroom was socially distanced and any overflow spectators were sent to a magistrate’s room to watch a livestream feed of the proceedings.