Trial for rape case called off

Published 9:32 am Thursday, March 8, 2018

Court officials said next week’s trial of a Winchester man for rape and kidnapping charges is on hold.

Jeffrey Rowland, 51, of 460 Lisletown Lane, was in court Monday for a number of pre-trial hearings. During the hearing, prosecutors said they made a plea offer to Rowland and his attorney, which expired Tuesday. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Heidi Engel said the offer was 15 years each for first-degree rape and kidnapping, and the sentences would run concurrently. A charge of violating an emergency protection order would be dismissed as part of the agreement.

As a violent offense, Rowland would have to serve 85 percent of the sentence before being eligible to meet the parole board.

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Clark Circuit Clerk Martha Miller said Wednesday afternoon that Rowland’s trial has been called off.

Rowland was arrested in August 2016 after the victim escaped at a truck stop along Interstate 75 in Madison County. The woman told police Rowland had restrained and tortured her for several hours.

During Monday’s hearing, prosecutors said Rowland tied the woman to the four corners of the bed and waterboarded her in an attempt to get her to admit who she was having an alleged affair with. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Charles Johnson said Rowland was motivated by jealousy and the woman eventually made up a name of a person so Rowland would stop.

Rowland and the victim have a history of domestic violence, but Clark Circuit Judge Jean Chenault Logue ruled Monday that evidence would not be allowed at trial.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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