Terms of rape suspect’s trial up in the air

Rape trial terms for Robert Seman up in the air

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Tuesday, WKBN has been checking into the record of Robert Seman, Jr., the rape suspect who had his bond revoked and trial delayed after a fire on Monday killed three people, including the 10-year-old girl who prosecutors believe he raped.

In addition to the indictment on rape and other charges filed in March of 2014, Seman pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and theft in March of 2011 and was sentenced to five years probation.

Court records show Seman filed for chapter seven bankruptcy protection in June of 2011.

“My client is under house arrest. He has not violated it. He has done nothing wrong,” Seman’s lawyer said in court Monday.

Seman’s lawyer claimed in court Monday that Seman has been under electronic house arrest for months. Authorities told WKBN Tuesday that they are checking with the company that monitors suspects in the program to verify that.

In the meantime, it appears Seman hasn’t been paying the mortgage on that house in Green Township. Earlier in March, Huntington Bank sued over Seman’s loan. Records show he owes about $216,000 and hasn’t made any payments since last September. The bank issued a foreclosure notice last Thursday.

“This defendant, as it sits right now, is a danger to the public,” Mahoning County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer McLaughlin said in court Tuesday.

Although Seman remains jailed after having his bond revoked, police found his girlfriend, Lynn Schmidt, Monday afternoon staying at Seman’s home. We’re told investigators spoke with her about the fire that killed her ten-year-old daughter Corinne Gump and parents this week.

“We’re just gonna have to wait and see how that investigation progresses,” McLaughlin said.

For now, prosecutors say they’re working to reconstruct their rape case, hoping to convince Judge Maureen Sweeney to allow the use of statements Corinne made to a social worker and a nurse.

“We’ll have to propose the hearsay exceptions to the judge,” McLaughlin said. “She’ll then hear arguments from both sides and she’ll then make a determination about whether the state can proceed in that fashion or not.”

At this point, no date has been set for the continuation of the trial.

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