The judge presiding over a rape case against former Montgomery County assistant prosecutor John C. Amos lifted an order sealing the case from the public on Tuesday.
Judge Daniel Hogan unsealed the case after a phone conference Tuesday morning. Hogan is a visiting judge assigned by the Ohio Supreme Court last year to handle the case after Montgomery County judges recused themselves.
Darren Ford, an attorney with the Faruki law firm on the conference call representing the Dayton Daily News, said Hogan expressed during the call that he wasn’t aware the case was still sealed until the newspaper asked about it last week.
Hogan scheduled the Tuesday conference call after being contacted by the Dayton Daily News for a story noting that the case remained sealed seven months after Amos was indicted. Local legal officials said the handling of the case was unusual and transparency in such proceedings is important, especially when the defendant is a public official.
“(Hogan) stated during the call it was never his intention to leave the case sealed,” Ford said.
Hogan stated he agreed to the order to seal because the state didn’t oppose it and was under the impression that the case would automatically become unsealed after the arraignment, according to Ford. Court records — which until Tuesday couldn’t be seen by the public — say the arraignment was in July, shortly after Amos was charged.
Ford said neither the state nor Amos’ defense attorney objected to unsealing the case.
Andrew Pratt, Amos’ attorney, declined to comment Tuesday saying he does not comment on open cases. The motion to seal the case was filed by a previous attorney representing Amos.
Now-visible court records show multiple motions have been filed in the case including requests for discovery, subpoenas and witness lists. A status conference in the case is scheduled for March 9.
The records indicate Amos maintains his not guilty plea. An indictment is an accusation and a defendant should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. The records show Amos continues to be free pending trial with no cash bond or electronic monitoring.
The case is still being prosecuted by Lucas County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Liptack-Wilson, who brought the charges after a long process involving multiple special prosecutors in multiple counties.
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