Ohio Supreme Court rejects appeal in rape case

Mar. 2—The Ohio Supreme Court will not hear an attempt to reopen the appeal of Justin Furmage's rape conviction.

Furmage was convicted of eight counts of rape, first-degree felonies, and eight counts of gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies, in September 2020, according to Ashtabula County court records. Judge Thomas Harris sentenced Furmage to 155 years to life in prison.

Furmage appealed his conviction, but the 11th District Court of Appeals and Ohio Supreme Court rejected those appeals.

In 2022, Furmage filed another appeal with the 11th District, seeking to re-open his appeal on the grounds that his attorney at trial failed to object to several lines of questioning that were allegedly prejudicial to his defense.

In a November 2022 opinion, the 11th District rejected those claims, stating that Furmage has not made a claim that would have changed the result of his first appeal.

The court also found that one of the claims of Furmage's request, that a witness said she believed the victim's claims, was not supported by the transcript.

Furmage filed an appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court, claiming that the 11th District had failed to properly follow the required steps for considering whether an appeal should be reopened. The appellate brief claims that, since Furmage's conviction was based on testimony and not forensic evidence, the lack of objections at trial to certain testimony should be enough to warrant the reopening of his appeal.

On Tuesday, the Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal.

Furmage is eligible for parole in June of 2175, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.