Former BGSU student-athlete loses rape appeal


A former Bowling Green State University student-athlete has lost an appeal after being sentenced for rape.

Charles Lamar, 27, is spending 13-17 years in the Southeastern Correctional Institute in Lancaster after being sentenced in June 2021 for rape , along with two counts of kidnapping.

In March 2020, Lamar prevented a woman from leaving her apartment and then raped her. During the four-day trial, the jury heard that the victim repeatedly screamed she didn’t want this, and when she saw an opportunity, she grabbed her phone and jumped out her bedroom window.

Surveillance cameras showed Lamar chasing the woman into a parking lot and grabbing her arm before throwing her cell phone to the ground.

He also was found guilty of disrupting public service.

Lamar, in his appeal, said there were six errors: initial sentencing under the Reagan Tokes Act is unconstitutional; the trial court erred in denying his motion for mistrial; the trial court abused its discretion by allowing the state to introduce evidence of a third party; defendant received ineffective counsel; trial court erred by denying Lamar’s motion for acquittal; and the jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence presented at trial.

He argued that Reagan Tokes violates the separation of powers doctrine because the determination as to whether he serves the minimum or maximum sentences is being made by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

The appeals court has previously ruled that the law does not violate the doctrine or infringe upon the offender’s due process rights.

Lamar also argued the woman was referred to as a “victim” during trial after the court ordered the prosecution to not use that word. He said the use of the word was prejudicial. The prosecutor referred to the woman as the victim one time, then immediately used her name. While the appeals court found the use of the word victim improper, when considering the entire context of the prosecutor’s statement, the appeals court found the statement was not prejudicial and it is clear the jury would have returned guilty verdicts even without the improper statement.

The appeals court ruled the state can introduce threats made against the witness by a person other than the accused as it was shown the accused was connected to the threats. Upon review, the challenged testimony does not contain an obvious threat.

To prevail on a claim of ineffective counsel, the defendant must prove trial counsel’s performance was deficient and there is a reasonable probability the outcome of the trial would have been different. The appeals court found the trial counsel did not fail nor that the outcome of the proceedings would have been different.

Lamar argued against the credibility of the evidence presented against him and that the state did not meet its burden of persuasion.

The state called as witnesses a friend, the victim, a nurse, a forensic scientist and a detective to testify about the events, and introduced videos, a scientific report, a medical report, photographs and drawings.

Construing this evidence in favor of the state, the appeals court found there was sufficient evidence in the record to support each element of rape and kidnapping.

The appeals court dismissing each of Lamar’s errors.

It filed its ruling Aug. 26.

Lamar, a native of Lake Mary, Florida, graduated in May 2020 from BGSU.

He was a running back on the Bowling Green State University football team. He played two games in 2019 and 12 games in 2018.

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