Suppression hearing continued for Lima man charged with rape

Mar. 29—LIMA — A suppression hearing scheduled Friday in Allen County Common Pleas Court for a Lima man charged with rape was continued after additional evidence was submitted for the court's consideration.

Steve Chamberlain of the Allen County Public Defenders Office late last month filed a motion to suppress statements made by Joshua Vititoe to investigators following his arrest on a preliminary charge of gross sexual imposition.

Chamberlain claimed that Vititoe's Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution had been violated when detectives failed to advise the Lima man of his right to remain silent and/or to have an attorney present during questioning.

"It is respectfully asserted that any and all statements made by the defendant should be suppressed because prior to accusatory questioning ... he was not properly advised" of his constitutional rights, Chamberlain wrote.

While an audio and video recording of the interview with Vititoe were submitted as evidence, an additional recording of statements allegedly made by the defendant to arresting officers was also entered as evidence for Judge Terri Kohlrieser to consider.

Vititoe, 39, of Lima, was indicted by a grand jury in January on one count of rape, a first-degree felony.

According to court records, deputies from the Allen County Sheriff's Office were dispatched in the early morning hours of Dec. 8 to the Country Inn on Elida Road in reference to a gross sexual imposition complaint. A female had called to report she had been the victim of a sexual assault and named Vititoe as her assailant.

By the time deputies arrived at the motel Vititoe was gone, but he was apprehended a short time later and was transported to the county jail.

In a recorded interview with detectives that took place at Mercy Health-St. Rita's Medical Center, the alleged victim said she had been homeless for several weeks and had been "couch surfing" at various locations in Lima. The female said a friend offered to help her earn some money by helping her clean a house in Elida. It was there she first met Vititoe, court documents state.

The woman wound up renting a room at the Country Inn for the night and allowed Vititoe to spend the night with her. She told investigators that she and Vititoe were in the same bed but under separate blankets.

After taking a sleeping pill and falling asleep, the woman told detectives that at some point later she awoke to find her jeans being unzipped. She told detectives she felt the tip of Vititoe's finger in her anus and saw him masturbating.

Vititoe initially denied any sexual activity but later did admit digital penetration had occurred, according to investigators.

A June 10 jury trial has been scheduled in the case.