Jury finds man guilty on 23 charges in Oxford rape

The first of three men to go to trial on charges from a February 2017 sexual assault in Oxford has been found guilty.

Roger Richard Michael Simpson, 24, of Cincinnati, was charged with 23 felony crimes, including 10 counts of rape, sexual battery, complicity to rape and kidnapping.

His jury trial began Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court. Late Friday, after about four hours of deliberation, the jury found Simpson guilty.

Sentencing is set for May 21.

The crimes involved a woman, 19 at the time, who was visiting Oxford on Feb. 11 and 12, 2017. The assault occurred in an off-campus apartment complex on Southpointe Parkway, according to Oxford police.

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Police were called to McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital during the early morning hours of Feb. 12, 2017, to investigate a reported sexual assault, according to police.

The victim was intoxicated at a party at a residence at the apartment complex and went with one of the men to another apartment where the assault occurred.

During opening statements, Assistant Prosecutor David Kash told the jury the victim came to Oxford with a friend to visit other friends on Feb. 11, 2017 where they drank heavily at a bar before g0ing to a party at the off campus apartment complex.

The victim had become friendly with Rodney Gibson, one of the other three men charged, and went to another apartment with him, Kash said.

The woman was “trashed” after drinking all day, Kash said. When she sat down on the couch, Simpson began to fondle her and Gibson offered up a back room where she could lie down, Kash said.

It was in that room that the girl was sexually assaulted by all three men for about 90 minutes, according to Kash. Several hours later the girl told her friend she had been raped and went to the hospital.

DNA showed that Simpson was one of the men who attacked the woman, Kash said.

The defense, in opening statements, said that the woman was not intoxicated and that the sex was consensual.

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Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Heile said the victim suffered “every woman’s worst nightmare.”

The men, including Simpson, used her as a vessel for their own pleasure, she said, noting the victim testified about the attack and how she was held down while she was raped.

Heile told the jury in closing arguments that being intoxicated and separating from her friends does not “justify what happened to her in that apartment.”

DNA taken from the victim’s body matched Simpson, forensic scientists testified during the trial.

But the defense pointed to text messages between the victim to her mother and friends, saying it did not appear the woman was highly intoxicated or asking for help. The defense maintained the sex was consensual.

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Before jury selection began, Judge Michael Oster indicated a plea bargain had been offered by the prosecution and rejected by Simpson. The plea was to one count of rape and one count of complicity to rape, both first degree felonies.

Co-defendants are scheduled to face a jury later this month.

Elijah Lee Mincy, 22, of North Campus Avenue, Oxford, is charged with 23 felony crimes, including three counts of rape, complicity to rape, sexual battery and kidnapping. His trial is scheduled to begin April 17.

Rodney Adrian Louis Gibson II, 22, of Cincinnati is charged with 26 crimes, including two counts of rape, sexual battery, kidnapping and complicity to rape. His trial is scheduled to begin April 24.

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