Accused Date Rapist In Court

A former Boardman Center Middle School teacher was arraigned Tuesday on charges that say he used a concoction similar to grain alcohol to impair three women he eventually date-raped.

Jay Dana, 56, formerly of Columbiana, Ft. Myers, Fla. and now a Grand Blank, Mich. resident, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on three first-degree felony rape counts.

Judge Maureen Sweeney set bond at $105,000 and he was subsequently booked into the Mahoning County Jail. Sweeney also ordered Dana have no contact with any of the women, their residence or their families. Dana posted bond 10 percent of the bond, or $10,500, and was released from the jail.

Prosecutors said Dana, a former Boardman High School freshman basketball coach, used the concoction to impair all three women. The charges said he raped one woman in July 2006, another in September 2006 and another in May 2011.

One of the women, who WKBN will not name because she is an alleged sexual assault victim, told WKBN in 2011 that she went on a date with Dana in 2006 that ended with her blacking out and waking up to Dana standing over her with her pants in his hands.

The woman said during her 2011 interview that when Dana picked her up, he handed her a drink in his car.

“When he picked me up, he actually handed me the drink in the car, which wasn’t quite what I intended but that’s what had happened,” the woman said at the time. “And on our way to the location, I started sipping on the drink he had brought.”

She said she had another drink and was no longer able to walk and felt paralyzed. She eventually blacked out, woke up, became violently sick and was undressed by Dana. She said she blacked out again shortly after.

“And then the next thing was him standing over me with my pants saying I needed to put them on and my laying on the floor wondering why I wasn’t wearing them,” she said in the 2011 interview.

Dana’s wife, Michele Dana, 44, died mysteriously on Christmas Day 2010. The Columbiana police department investigated the case but has since been unsolved.

Jay Dana told police he and his wife played a drinking game on Christmas Eve. The next morning, police found Michele Dana naked on her back on their bathroom floor. Dana told 911 dispatchers he was unable to wake her up.

The Columbiana County Coroner’s office ruled Michele Dana died from alcohol poisoning from the combine effects of alcohol and pseudoephedrine.  She had a blood-alcohol content of 0.40, which, by comparison, is five times more than the 0.08 intoxication limit set for drunk drivers.

Investigators at the time said both Jay and Michele Dana consumed “far less” than one-fifth of liquor during the drinking game.

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